Staffan Jacobson

Tribology is everywhere: in all transportation, machinery, manufacturing processes and not least in our everyday operations. For the past 35 years, I have had the privilege of researching tribology within a wide range of all these interesting areas.

These include industrial cutting and forming tools, electrical contacts, rock drills, avoiding slip accidents on floors, hip joint implants, vehicle brakes, combustion engine parts, low-friction layers and micro textured sliding surfaces. In addition to this I have made more hobby-like, but no less interesting, trips to the friction in curling and cross-country skiing.

In all these areas, research has mainly focused on understanding the mechanisms behind friction and wear, as well as to how the materials and surface layers of both counter surfaces affect these mechanisms. Often it turns out that the very outermost layers of the surfaces totally change composition and structure during contact, and it is these outermost atomic layers, the tribofilm, that determine the friction behavior and wear resistance.

“Real" contacts are often so complex and difficult to control and measure, that it becomes challenging to generate new understanding by studying them. We have therefore over the years placed great emphasis on developing and using relevant test methods in the lab. Primarily, the lab methods provide opportunities for better understanding. In addition, they are very useful for quickly and economically conducting initial testing and ranking of new tribological materials, coatings, surface textures and lubricants.

In addition to research, I teach in the fields of tribology, tribological materials, surface layer treatment and scanning electron microscopy. This applies primarily to civil engineering students and doctoral students, but also active engineers. Together with my former supervisor and good colleague Sture Hogmark, I have written the book Tribology - friction, abrasion, lubrication (In Swedish).

Thanks to Sture, all skilled doctoral students and good colleagues, I have over the years been able to build up a broad experience and expertise in the field of tribology. This has led to interesting projects in new areas, with interesting partners from both industry and academia, both Swedish and international.

It is my strong belief that tribological research and development is gradually becoming more and more important in order to enable an efficient transition to a better, more sustainable and more energy efficient technology.

Staffan Jacobson

Professor at Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Applied Materials Science

+4618-471 3088
Mobile phone:
+46 70 7235290