Introduction to Tribology

– The science of friction, wear & lubrication

17 & 18 November 2022
Online via MS Teams

Course Objectives
Tribology is defined as the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion. It therefore encompasses the study of friction, wear and lubrication between surfaces in contact and the interactions at their interface. Such interactions may be the transmission of forces, the conversion of mechanical energy, the chemistry of the surfaces, or the interlocking phenomena related to surface morphology and topography. The basic essence of tribology is to understand these surface interactions and thus be able to solve problems and find adequate solutions.

The economic implications of tribology are significant with recent research showing that several percent of the Gross National Product (GNP) could be saved in many industrialized nations by solving tribological problems. This could be as simple a solution as the application of a low friction coating to a surface, the amelioration of the lubricant at the sliding interface, or the reduction in wear by changing the system design.

Tribology is a truly interdisciplinary science and must therefore by treated as one. Many engineers are unprepared for solving tribological problems because they only see one side of the problem. For example, a mechanical engineer may understand the mechanics of a contact, but not the potential chemical interactions that may occur, nor the potential for lowering friction by the addition of a lubricant. Also, most undergraduate engineering courses often neglect tribology, or only cover the subject very briefly. This does not help graduates to gain the tools necessary to solve real-world tribological problems.

This course begins with the basics of surface topography and contact mechanics, as well as fundamental concepts of deformation at different scales. This is followed by a focus on the different modes of friction and wear that may be encountered, with emphasis on adhesive and abrasive/erosive wear, ceramics wear, polymer wear and coatings wear. Two sessions are dedicated to the design of tribological tests, the instrument configurations currently available and the best ways to interpret test data.

At the end of this course, the attendee will have a solid understanding of basic tribology principles, test methods and will have gained a valuable starting point for solving real-world tribological problems.

Target Audience
This course is intended for engineers who have encountered practical friction and wear problems and want to learn how to solve them. It is equally intended for active researchers in surface science, coatings research, materials testing and product development.


Dr. Nicholas Randall is a Chartered Engineer (CEng MIM) and holds a B.Sc. in Materials Science from Brunel University (London, UK) 1994 and a Ph.D. from Neuchatel University (Neuchatel, Switzerland) 1997. He has been an active tribologist since studying nanoscale tribological phenomena during his PhD thesis. During his time with CSM Instruments (1997-2013) he served as Customer Services Manager and then Vice-President Business Development whilst setting up the US subsidiary. He was then Lead Scientist with Anton Paar Tritec, following the acquisition of CSM Instruments by Anton Paar in 2013. He is currently Vice-President Business Development with Alemnis, a company specialized in in-situ micromechanical testing.

Dr. Randall has published extensively in the field of surface mechanical properties testing, especially related to tribology testing. He is chairman of ASTM committee G02.40, responsible for developing tribological test standards for non-abrasive wear. He has written a chapter on tribological testing of biomaterials for the ASM Handbook on Biomaterials Testing and a chapter on Experimental Methods in Tribology for the Springer book Tribology for Scientists and Engineers. He has been teaching tribology for over 25 years and has authored over 70 scientific publications.


17 November 2022

09:00 - 09:15
09:15 - 09:30
Presentations and introduction to the course
09:30 - 10:00
Introduction and historical background to tribology
10:00 - 10:15
Coffee break
10:15 - 11:00
Surface topography & contact mechanics
11:00 - 12:00
Modes of friction and wear
12:00 - 12:30
12:30 - 13:15
Adhesive wear
13:15 - 14:00
Abrasive/Erosive wear
14:00 - 14:15
Coffee break
14:15 - 15:15
Tribological testing 1
15:15 - 16:00
Case studies on friction & wear
End of day

18 November 2022

09:00 - 09:45
Wear of ceramics
09:45 - 10:30
Wear of polymers
10:30 - 10:45
Coffee break
10:45 - 11:30
Wear of coatings
11:30 - 12:15
12:15 - 12:45
12:45 - 13:30
Tribological testing 2
13:30 - 14:30
Small scale & nanotribology
14:30 - 15:00
Questions & feedback session
Close of course

Introduction to Tribology - The science of friction, wear & lubrication 2022

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Registration fee

8,600 DKK ATV-SEMAPP members
9,400 DKK Non-members

Includes sessions during the two days, educational materials, luncheons and coffee breaks.

All prices are excluded of Danish VAT 25%.

Save 800 DKK when registering before 1 August 2022.

Binding registration
Registration is binding, however substitutions are accepted at any time.

Please do not hesitate to contact ATV-SEMAPP by e-mailing Charlotte Leser +45 4525 4899.