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INTRODUCTION TO TRIBOLOGY

Definition and Scope of Tribology


Tribology is defined as the science and
technology of interacting surfaces in relative
motion.
- The term is derived from the Greek word tribos,
meaning rubbing, and logos, meaning principle or
science.
- It is the study of the friction, wear, and lubrication,
involved at moving contacts.
- As an interdisciplinary field of study, it encompasses
physics, chemistry, metallurgy, materials science,
rheology,
lubrication,
elasticity,
viscoelasticity,
elastohydrodynamics, thermodynamics and heat
transfer.

Definition and Scope of Tribology

Importance of Tribology
Usual tasks:
Reduction of friction and wear to conserve energy,
enabling faster and more precise motions,
increasing productivity, and reduced maintenance.
It is involved in:
Lubricant
formulation,
industrial
operations,
aerospace and transportation equipment, material
shaping and machining, computers and electronic
devices, power generation, etc..

Friction
Friction is a tangential force that resists relative motion
between two surfaces in contact under a normal load.

Causes: Surface roughness and adhesion.


Effects: Wear and heat.

Wear
Wear may be defined as the progressive removal of
material from a surface in bearing under conditions of
sliding, rolling or fretting.
Types of wear:
Adhesive wear is due to shearing at points of
contact or asperities that undergo adhesion or
cold welding;

Abrasive wear is caused by a hard material


sliding and cutting grooves on a softer one;

Wear
Pitting wear is a result of surface
fatigue caused by varying local
stress over a large number of cycles.

Erosive wear is caused by the


impingement of fluids and/or solids
that removes surface material.

Corrosive wear is the result of the


removal of surface material by
chemical action or by a combination
of chemical action and relative motion.

Lubrication
Lubrication is the process of interposing a film of any
solid, liquid or gaseous substance between contacting
surfaces undergoing relative motion.

Lubrication regimes:
- Dry sliding Absence of a fluid film. Solid film or no lubricant at all. Contact
between the asperities of the rubbing surfaces. Load capacity results from the yield
of the softer material high spots.

Lubrication
- Fluid-film lubrication A fluid film completely separates the moving surfaces. The
fluid pressure is normally generated by the following actions:
Hydrodynamic: A film is drawn into a converging wedge-shaped zone by the
self-acting pumping action of a moving surface.

Squeeze-film: The fluid pressure is generated by oscillating loads or bearing


surfaces.
Externally-pressurized: An external pumping source generates pressure in the
fluid.

Lubrication
Lubrication regimes (cont.):
- Elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) A combination of hydrodynamic lubrication
with the significant elastic deformation of the surfaces caused by the very high film
pressure. The following regimes exist in EHL:
Hard EHL: Relates to materials of high elastic modulus in nonconformal
contacts.
Soft EHL: Relates to soft materials having low elastic modulus in bearings
under heavy loads and low speeds.
- Boundary (or mixed-film) lubrication Insufficient oil-film pressure. The lubricant is
unable to separate the opposing surfaces completely. The reduced film thickness
may permit momentary dry contact between surfaces asperities.

Bearing Selection
Common classes of bearings:
- Fluid-film bearings;
- Dry bearings;
- Semilubricated sliding bearings;
- Rolling element bearings.

Bearing Selection
Conformal fluid film bearings:

Bearing Selection
Non-Conformal fluid film bearings:

Bearing Selection
Preliminary selection:
Load, speed and size relations
using ESDU
(Engineering Sciences Data Unit).

Journal bearing type: Except for


rolling-element bearings, curves
are drawn for bearings with width
equal to diameter. A mediumviscosity mineral oil is assumed
for hydrodynamic bearings.

Bearing Selection

Bearing Selection

Bearing Selection

Bearing Selection
Preliminary selection:
Load, speed and size relations
using ESDU
(Engineering Sciences Data Unit).
Thrust bearing type: Except for
rolling-element bearings, curves
are drawn for typical ratios of
inside
diameter
to
outside
diameter. A medium-viscosity
mineral oil is assumed for
hydrodynamic bearings.

Bearing Selection

Bearing Selection

Bearing Selection

Bearing Selection
Final selection:
Mechanical requirements:
- Friction and power loss;
- Speed;
- Load;
- Life;
- Lubrication;
- Space requirement.

Environmental conditions:
- Temperature range;
- Moisture, dirt and corrosive atmospheres.

Economics:
- Cost;
- Maintenance and life.

Bearing Selection
Future trends: Dictated by the needs for lower
maintenance in more compact designs operating at
higher speeds and higher temperatures. Examples:
- Dry and semilubricated bearings Increasing use of plastics and their
composites for mild operating conditions.
- Roller bearings Innovations in greases, solid lubricant films and roller
bearing cages self-contained lubricant impregnation. New developments
of materials like ceramics, tool steels, and special lubricants will enable
higher operating speeds and temperatures.
- Fluid-film bearings Increasing use of gaseous and low-viscosity liquid
lubricants. Development of new bearing materials and lubricants,
advanced analysis and design techniques, and improved surface profiles
to match extremely thin fluid films.