Tribology matters

Stack, M.M. (2009) Tribology matters. UK Power and Process Engineering (1). p. 33.

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Tribology touches every aspect of our day to day existence and the wonder of this is that we are completely unaware how central it is to how we function. Take a snapshot of thebeginning of a normal working day for example. A typical morning start will involve brushing one's teeth with toothpaste containing mild abrasive (with a toothbrush with an optimized design for brushing efficiency), using a shampoo and conditioner which have been tested for frictional properties on a wide range of hair types, and for those who have the traditional morning fry up - lubricating the pan in advance with cooking oil to provide a boundary layer between the food and the pan and to reduce adhesion and heat transfer. It is clear that tribology plays a major role in our everyday lives. Whether starting out for work by foot, bicycle or car, friction will define whether our shoes or tyres can grip the road surface and whether the brake or clutch will do their job. If it is raining, the speed limit is modified in some countries, testifying to the influence of tribologists in decision making in the transport industries.


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