Frontier research in tribology through investigation of lubrication, friction and wear

Friction and wear cause problems such as high energy consumption and production stops in industry. Tribology researchers at Luleå University of Technology strives at seeking answers to these tribological challenges to enable development of new products and processes.


Close collaboration in research between industry and LTU

The Division of Machine Elements at Luleå University of Technology has world leading research competence in the field of tribology, i.e. lubrication, friction and wear.

Substantial costs are incurred in industry every year as a direct or indirect result of friction and wear.

In process industry, almost half of all operating costs are related to maintenance caused by friction and wear.

Tribologists at Luleå University of Technology work in close cooperation with industry in solving problems linked to lubrication, friction and wear. Our inudstrial partners includes e.g.  Scania, BorgWarner, Volvo Construction Equipment, SKF, Gestamp HardTech, Shell, Bosch Rexroth and more.

Research is primarily aimed at:

  • Establishing basic characteristics of lubricants and developing calculation models for improved design of machine components with lubricated contacts.
  • The ability of lubricants to protect against wear and minimize operating and maintenance costs incurred as a result of friction and wear.
  • Development of models for tribological contacts to aid the design of mechanical components and systems.
  • Models are built in software used by engineers in industry.
  • Studies of tribological properties for different material/coating combinations in dry or lubricated conditions for a number of different applications, such as clutches, gears and seals.
  • Tribomaterials and surface engineering, especially at high temperatures. The aim is to understand how temperature affects friction and wear and how these can be controlled.
  • Hydrodynamic bearings and possibilites for their performance enhancement through the use of new lubricants, materials and textured surfaces.
  • Other research projects are related to industrial sectors such as automobile, hydropower, metalworking and railways etc.



Professor Erik Höglund, chair professor
Professor Roland Larsson
Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics

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