– With the new measuring equipment, we can make more precise measurements and we can also measure certain surfaces that the previous equipment was unable to measure. By characterizing a surface before and after it has been exposed to wear, we can understand the mechanisms and thereby optimize the lubrication and reduce friction and wear, says researcher Jens Hardell responsible for the equipment in Tribolab.
Upgrade of test equipment
During the year, several new tribological test equipment are to be installed in Tribolab. The upgrade is done in order for the lab to maintain its leading position and ability to meet future challenges.
– The equipment in Tribolab consists of two categories, standard equipment to evaluate lubricants, measuring friction and wear. Then there are custom-built equipment that simulates a particular application. The latter are built when the standard equipment is not enough, usually in conjunction with a PhD-project.
Benefits of contract research
Besides longer research projects, Tribolab is also used for shorter contract research commissions from industry. It has become possible due to the focus on standard equipment and it provides benefits on many levels.
– Contract research is a way for us to build networks and relationships with companies that later can be developed into research projects. The contract research sometimes leads to scientific publications together with the company as the client and it can also fit directly into our existing research projects, says Jens Hardell.
– In the long run, research conducted in Tribolab will enable products to last longer and using less energy, which is positive from both a financial and an environmental perspective.
The new equipment for measuring surface topography is financed by the Kempe Foundations and the lab fund at Luleå University of Technology.