Friction including wear and lubrication is one of the most familiar physical phenomena and has been investigated from ancient age till now. Tribology as the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion includes the study and application of the principles of friction, lubrication and wear. Any product where one material slides or rubs over another is affected by complex tribological interactions, whether lubricated or unlubricated (as in high temperature sliding wear in which conventional lubricants cannot be used but in which the formation of compacted oxide layer glazes can be observed to protect against wear).

The application of various coatings on traditional and advanced material substrate (e.g. metal alloys) is a well established technology used to modify surface characteristics/performances of various components in technical systems exposed to adverse conditions, e.g. abrasive wear, erosion wear, etc. Coatings can provide a desired (mostly low) friction coefficient between solids forming various tribological systems.
Tribology plays an important role in manufacturing, where e.g. in metal-forming operations, friction increases tool wear and the power required to work a piece. This results in increased costs due to more frequent tool replacement, loss of tolerance as tool dimensions shift, and greater forces required to shape a piece. In the frame of the international project MPNS COST Action 532 M7 "Triboscience and Tribotechnology: Superior Friction and Wear Control in Engines and Transmissions" the heat treated low-alloyed 31CrMoV9 steel was coated with hard PVD coatings (CrN, TiN, TiAlN, multilayered CrN-TiN of different thickness) for simulation of contact fatigue. The subsequent application of the selected PVD coatings on stamping die surfaces resulted in improved quality of forming operation, the lifetime of PVD coated stamping dies was increased four‐times. The importance of the influence of microstructure of HVOF coatings on tribological performance was investigated in the framework of the research project MPNS COST Action 532 M78.
In recent years there has been a increase in interest in carbon-based coatings, either crystaline (diamond or graphite) or amorphous and also nano-diamond coatings. The activities in this area have been focused in the frame of the international project MPNS COST Action 533 "Materials for Improved Wear Resistance of Total Artificial Joints". In this area under cooperation with Diamond Group, ORTON Research Institute, Helsinki the different carbon-based coatings were tested by originally designed tribotester for testing the coatings in terms of lubrication and increased temperature under reciprocating sliding movement.
The Surface Engineering and Tribology are linked in our research projects and the courses for students. To promote education, training, exchange and dissemination of information dealing with friction, wear and lubrication the Laboratory of Tribology is developed, where tribotester for three-body abrasion conditions was currently designed and finalized.
Taking into consideration facts that tribology is integrated into world science, finding solutions to daily worldwide problems, improving global quality, preserving energy resources and protecting the environment, it is necessary to emphasize the importance of the professional education also in the areas of tribological problems, discuss tribological effects at nano, micro & macro scales, and consider the various roles that tribology plays in natural processes, medical applications, manufacturing, sustainability and the energy economy. These aspects (benefits contribute to the sustainability issues of economic growth, social progress and environmental protection.

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ams 2 2016


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