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Within the field of tribotechnology UCLan enjoys state-of-the-art facilities for surface characterisation, friction and wear-testing and lubrication assessment and a number of leading international collaborations.

Tribology is formally the study of interacting surfaces in relative motion. It involves the study of friction, wear and lubrication and is now increasingly involved with surface adhesion and changes in surface characteristics in static situations. Tribology has enormous influence on our daily lives as it affects economic, environmental and performance issues in both natural and man-made systems.

A range of key tribotechnology themes support our work across differing engineering applications. UCLan’s areas of expertise include:

  • Active tribology (“tribotronics”)
  • Bio-tribology
  • Condition monitoring
  • Fluid film technology
  • Surface measurement
  • Surface engineering

Based in the Jost Institute for Tribotechnology, tribotechnology research staff have access to state-of-the-art facilities for surface characterisation, friction and wear-testing and lubrication assessment and collaborate with partner laboratories around the world to conduct cutting edge research.

To find out more about research in Tribotechnology, contact Professor Ian Sherrington


Research activity in the Jost Institute has addressed a wide range of practical topics, and some of our achievements include:

  • The development of computer models to predict the friction of skis on artificial dry slopes
  • The development of protocols to prevent vibration-induced loosening (“self-loosening”) of threaded fasteners
  • Better understanding of the performance of solid and liquid lubricants used for mechanisms in spacecraft
  • Characterisation of advanced materials and coatings for touch screens
  • Computer models to predict the lubrication conditions for piston-rings packs operating in internal combustion engines
  • Improved understanding of the mechanism of bio-fouling of marine structures;
  • Improved knowledge of the friction performance of materials for seat belt release mechanisms in passenger cars
  • Better knowledge of the performance of materials for fuel delivery systems for passenger aircraft
  • The development of patents for systems to reduce emissions from large marine diesel engines
  • The development of world leading technology to measure the thickness of lubricant films within contacts.
  • Professor Ian Sherrington was awarded the 2015 Donald Julius Groen Prize and as the winner he was invited to present the Tribology Group’s prestigious Groen Prize Lecture in December 2015. The lubrication, friction and wear expert was selected for his “outstanding achievements in the Group's sphere of activity”.
  • In November 2018, Professor Ian Sherrington was named as the first Professor of Tribotronics in the world by one of the top Scandinavian universities, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

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