Our research

Our research in tribology is focused on understanding the mechanisms of friction, surface damage and wear, and the roles of materials, topography, lubricants, etc. in determining these mechanisms. "Better tribology" may lead to fantastic benefits for sustainability (energy, environment & health, raw material savings, etc.) as well as for quality, economy, safety, and much more. Please download and read Petra Olander's popular science introduction: Tribology: Everywhere every day, but no one ever heard of it. 

Our research is diversified, including use and development of wear tests, advanced techniques for surface imaging and analysis, wear models, and modern surface engineering.

The research is often performed in close association with the industry, where projects range from failure analysis and materials selection, via mapping of complex wear phenomena in various applications, to more fundamental knowledge building research. We strive to bridge the gaps in tribology, referring to the gap between academic research and industrial development, and the gap between fundamental understanding and resulting properties in the application.

Driving forces

Driving forces for research and development in tribology, today often dominated by the sustainability aspects.

In the early years of tribology, in the 1960s, the dominant drivers of tribological research were economic savings, improved performance, and increased service life. Large studies in industrialized countries showed that the costs associated with friction, lubricants and wear corresponded to several percent of GDP.

Today, the main driving force is enabling a transition to a more sustainable and energy-efficient society. Here tribology has many important roles to play. 

Movie about friction from Uppsala University

Last modified: 2021-09-13