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TP 6: Programmable Tribology

Principal Investigators: Jürgen Rühe and Lars Pastewka


There is significant potential for technical applications of programmable materials in the area of adaptive tribology, i.e., for materials with adaptive tribological properties as a consequence of changing environmental conditions. Around 20% of the global total energy consumption is lost due to friction. The approach taken to date for the reduction of friction and wear is to adapt the material and the lubricant to the respective application or the tribological system. Since the coefficient of friction is a complex function of several parameters, the system cannot be optimized for all operating points at the same time, especially if the load spectrum (e.g. temperature, speed) changes during operation due to the application. The approach pursued here is to program the coefficient of friction of a friction system consisting of two material which are moved relatively, such that it is adapted as best as possible to the tribological situation.

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