Tribology group

The tribology group is headed by Prof. Patrick De Baets and Prof. Dieter Fauconnier. The ongoing research activities are centered around three research lines, i.e. Advanced Lubrication, tribo-materials and wear modelling.

Advanced Lubrication

Research project Gozdenur Toraman

In Thermo-Elasto-Hydrodynamic Lubrication (TEHL), lubricants can experience extreme pressures, very high shear rates and high temperatures. These state variables, heavily influence the rheological properties of the lubricants due to intensified interaction between molecules. As it is very difficult to perform experiments at extreme presssures and shear rates, the goal of this project is to use Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations for the investigation of complex nanoscale behaviour and to identify lubricant thermomechanical properties of lubricants in TEHL.

Promotors:

Bearings and gears, a.o. often operate in so-called Thermo Elasto-Hydrodynamic lubrication regime (TEHL), which is characterized by small film thickness, extreme hydrodynamic pressures and local elastically deforming surfaces. To gain proper insight in the complex nonlinear lubrication phsyics of TEHL, multiphysics modelling involving Navier-Stokes equations for lubricant flow coupled to a linear elastic description for the surface deformation offers great potential for fundamental analysis. This project aims to develop and use a CFD-FSI model to investigate lubricant behaviour in smooth and rough TEHL contacts, subject to transient operating conditions.

Promotors:

A Thermo-Elasto-Hydrodynamic Lubricated (TEHL) contact is characterized by very thin lubrication films and locally extreme pressures, which results in a significant local elastic deformation of the solid surfaces. To gain clear physical understanding of this particular contact, it is necessary to evaluate fluid and structure phenomena together. The project aims at gaining fundamental understanding in the complex physics of TEHL in bearings and gears, with respect to the contact dynamics under variable operating conditions, using Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI) modelling.

Promotors:

Surface texturing of machine components is a promising technique to increase load carrying capacity of the lubricant film, while reducing friction. However, these advantages are highly dependent on the correct positioning, shape and dimensions of the textures, as well as the operating conditions. The main objective of this project is to develop effcient numerical optimization-techniques in combination with a Computational Fluid Dnamics solver, which enables to determine the optimal surface topology in lubricated contacts, targetting more complicated texture shapes than traditionally used.

Promotors:

Despite multiple academic studies on Elasto-Hydrodynamic Lubrication (EHL) in simplified ball-on-glass-disc test, in-situ measurements of Thermo-Elasto-Hydrodynamic Lubrication (TEHL) in real roller bearings, operating under highly variable operating conditions, remains a large challenge. In this project, the main goal is to design and develop a test setup to measure in-situ TEHL conditon, while operating under controllable dynamic loads, accelerating/decelerating rolling-sliding motions, and well-controlled lubricant conditions. Thereto small sensors will be implemented into the bearing raceways in order to measure film-thickness, pressure and temperature.

Promotors:

 Mixed-friction, wear and lubrication issues impact the efficiency of IC Engines in many ways. One option to minimize friction and wear of cylinder surface contact is  smart lubrication system. In this research practice, castor oil is used as lubricant modified with  additives, and applying nano-lubrication system method  is going to be dealt to reduce friction and wear of engine cylinder surface contact to improve performance characteristics of the IC engine .

Promotor:

The process of steel wire drawing is a cold work hardening process. A metallic wire is pulled through a series of dies, in order to reduce its cross section. In dry wire drawing, the wire is lubricated by pullingit through a bath of dry soap granules which are entrained into the die with the wire. The formed lubricant film is essential to reduce the drawing forces and the corresponding power, as well as to obtain a proper surface quality of the steel wire. The aim of current research is to develop a fluid structure interaction numerical model to understand the lubricant behavior during wire drawing.

Promotor:

Tribo-materials

Wear is a major problem in agricultural components where machines face frequent work stoppages and downtime for replacement of worn parts. Tribological investigation of the targeted machine parts enables to identify the dominant wear processes. The goal is to determine a more wear-resistant material in representative lab-scale testing of the real application to avoid low work efficiency and cost increases.

Promotor:

Research project Naveenkumar Rajedhran

Cermets are composite materials composed of hard carbide ceramic particles bonded together by a soft metallic binder. These materials are used in cutting tools and wear parts due to their excellent hardness/toughness combination. However, the information on microscale abrasive wear and the damage mechanism of these cermets is limited, requiring a deep understanding. This research studies the wear micro-mechanisms of different cermets from laboratory scale and creating a link to real application testing.

Promotor:

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, Teflon) is widely used in low friction applications, e.g. plain bearings, gears, seals. This broad application potential comes from the advantages of low coefficient of friction, chemically inert behaviour, self-lubricating nature and high thermal stability. The aim of this project is to investigate the potential of increasing the relatively low wear resistance of PTFE by incorporating nanofillers.

Promotor:

Wear modelling

Corrosive nature of the seawater and the abrasive nature of sand are the two worst nightmares for structural materials in offshore applications. Material loss individually due to corrosion and wear are usually determined at lab-scales. However, the primary objective of the present research is to investigating the material loss under the simultaneously action of corrosion and wear i.e. tribocorrosion, particularly in wear-resistant steel grades essentially employed in mining, dredging, etc.

Promotor:

Research project Dhanraj Rajaraman

Abrasion wear of metals is a major failure mode in many engineering applications, leading to huge expenditures on maintenance. The aim of this project is to increase the fundamental understanding of damage mechanisms involved in scratch abrasion by means of devoted numerical damage modelling and experimental validation testing. The outcome of this project will lead to an identification and prioritization of material parameters of influence on scratch abrasion resistance.

Promotors:

 

Featured photos

No results were found.