Joel Furustig, Doctor of Machine Elements at Luleå University of Technology. Photo: Ted Karlsson.

Reduced wear - good for the environment

Published: 10 December 2014

By understanding the wear process, quality control during the manufacturing process can be improved and products can be designed to minimize wear, which leads to significant economic and environmental benefits. Various phenomena in wear is now presented in a doctoral dissertation by Joel Furustig at Luleå University of Technology.

Wear for example occurs when two gears are moving in contact with each other. After a period of abrasion, much material is worn off so that the gear pair fails. The research that Joel Furustig has conducted is about modeling and simulation of various phenomena concerning wear.

– The models we have developed in collaboration with industry partners can be used for quality control in manufacturing processes. It is also possible to use the models that we have developed in the design stage of new products. Reduced wear is of great economic benefit, since the costs caused by wear has been estimated at about six percent of GDP, says Joel Furustig, who just completed his doctorate in Machine Elements at Luleå University of Technology.

There will also be large environmental benefits when the wear decreases and the operating time increases.

– The environmental benefit is very large. On one hand there are opportunities to reduce raw material consumption when the service life of machines increases and fewer parts need to be replaced. In addition, controlled wear leads to reduced fuel and energy consumption.

In the thesis, several aspects of abrasion of hydraulic motors are presented, and the results are already applied. One of the models is also about chemical-mechanical interaction, which opens up new opportunities to better understand the chemical processes in sliding contacts.

Joel Furustig's research was funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF, ProViking) and industry partner Danfoss.