Tribology of Mechanical Systems: A Guide to Present and Future Technologies
1 Tribology in the Past and in the Future
Download citation file:
Tribology played a central role in the first technological revolution in ancient times. Reducing friction by wheels made it possible for humans to move farther, and the lubrication of sleds made it possible to transport building blocks and raise large constructions. Together with good tribological engineering knowledge, metal as a construction material and oil as a lubricant eventually smoothened the path for the industrial revolution by allowing inventions like bearings and gears.
New scientific knowledge about asperity interaction, elastohydrodynamic lubrication, surface engineering, material behavior and tribochemistry contributed to a deeper understanding of the phenomena of friction and wear in the last century. Tire and road tribology, grease lubrication and seal tribology are in relatively neglected topics in tribology research. They have not attracted much interest from researchers in spite of their crucial role and impact in industry and society.
Concerns for the environment, energy conservation, and consumer product and production reliability are likely to be the driving forces to direct tribology research in the future. A more holistic approach, including considerable interaction with other scientific fields, is needed to meet the need from both industry and society.