Flemish industry enthousiast about CONTACTLUB project

CONTACTLUB - Understanding lubrication in contacts (large view)

CONTACTLUB - Understanding lubrication in contacts

(13-02-2020) CONTACTLUB – “Understanding lubrication in contacts” organised its first industrial advisory board to discuss its first results with industry.

CONTACTLUB is funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and will run over a period of 4 years. CONTACTLUB focusses on the development of reliable, accurate and well-validated multi-scale computational models to simulate the transient response of Thermo-Elasto-Hydrodynamic Lubricated (TEHL) contacts in gears and bearings under variable operating conditions and its influence on vibrations and noise in multi-component drivetrains. This high level goal has been translated into 6 scientific objectives, four multi-scale modelling objectives and two experimental objectives.

After being kicked-off internally on 01/09/2019, the research team now interacted with 10 technology leaders in Flanders. They form an industrial advisory board. The IAB members will be able to follow the progress of the project from the first row receiving first insights from the research team and as such they will be able to indicate which research directions are most interesting for them to pursue. The IAB members are VCST, ZF-Wind Power, Punch Powertrain, Dana, Picanol, CNH Industrial Belgium, Atlas Copco Airpower, Arcelor Mittal, Siemens and Toyota Motor Europe. On this first IAB we introduced the team of PhD researchers, discussed the specifications of our planned test rigs and first results on CFD/FSI modelling of the lubricated contact.

The project holds the potential for these companies to take up the developed models and tools. This in turn will allow them to improve the design of their lubricated contacts in terms of e.g. component geometry and amount of lubrication. Next to this, the results will contribute to improved NVH performance and reduced damage and wear of lubricated contacts in dynamic operating conditions. Finally, the implementation of on-line fibre-optics include the potential to monitor the film thickness.

The CONTACTLUB research team comprises groups with complementary expertise from three Flemish universities: Ghent University (coordinator, PIs: Dieter Fauconnier, Joris Degrootte, Patrick De Baets), KULeuven (PIs Wim Desmet, Frank Naets) and VUB (PIs, Thomas Geernaert, Francis Berghmans). All groups involved are member of the Flanders Make initiative. The interaction with industry is supported by a team of industrial research managers including Jeroen De Maeyer, Kristof De Wispelaere, Benjamin Verschaeve, Bert Pluymers.

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