Elastohydrodynamic lubricated contacts are found in components such as bearings and gears, which are the building blocks of most mechanical things in our daily lives. For example, cars, buses, bicycles, boats and aircrafts.
– In my thesis, I discuss the mechanisms of elastohydrodynamic lubrication based on experiments and numerical models. Through a greater understanding of these mechanisms, it is possible to increase the efficiency of the machine components. The purpose can for instance be to develop fuel-efficient cars, says Marcus Björling at the Division of Machine Elements, Luleå University of Technology.
A coating consisting of an extremely thin diamond-like carbon (DLC) may be used to reduce friction in elastohydrodynamic contacts. The thermal insulation coating provides a higher temperature in the oil film between the contact surfaces which reduces friction.
– The results presented in the thesis can be used to develop more efficient transmissions, as well as a guide in the selection of lubricants in existing as well as new transmissions. In the longer term, the research provides insight into how a new type of surface treatments could be developed to further increase the efficiency of new systems. Finally, the research also give some clues to new, improved lubricants, says Marcus Bjorling.
– More efficient machine components leads to reduced energy consumption, which reduces emissions. Improvements of lubricant can also lead to less adverse effects on lubricants leaking into the environment.
The project was funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF), ProViking, Vetenskapsrådet, Scanica, Volvo Construction Equipment and Vicura.
Marcus Björling's research (along with colleagues) has previously received much attention in the research community with a "Research Highlight" in Nature and a Best Paper Award from the Tribology organization STLE. Read more in the previous articles showed below.