Super strong synthetic spider silk produced from wood cellulose

The strongest yet hybrid silk fibers have been created by scientists in Sweden using all renewable resources. Combining spider silk proteins with nanocellulose from wood, the process offers a low-cost and scalable way to make bioactive materials for a wide range of medical uses.

Bone-like structure of steel to fight fatigue

Metal fatigue can lead to abrupt and sometimes catastrophic failures in parts that undergo repeated loading, or stress. It’s a major cause of failure in structural components of everything from aircraft and spacecraft to bridges and powerplants. As a result, such structures are...Read More »

Harvesting friction energy in self-sustaining water motion sensors

A recent study, affiliated with UNIST has engineered a self-sustaining sensor platform to continuously monitor the surrounding environment without having an external power source.

This research has been led by the team of Professor Jaehyouk Choi of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UNIST in collaboration with Professor Wonjoon Choi of Mechanical...Read More »

Triboelectric generators can be used to improve mass spectroscopy sensors

Triboelectric nanogenerators convert mechanical energy harvested from the environment to electricity for powering small devices such as sensors or for recharging consumer electronics. Now, researchers have harnessed these devices to improve the charging of molecules in a way...Read More »

Triboelectricity to power your watch

Despite the many advances in portable electronic devices, one thing remains constant: the need to plug them into a wall socket to recharge. Now researchers, reporting in the journal ACS Nano, have developed a light-weight, paper-based device inspired by the Chinese and Japanese arts of paper-cutting that can...Read More »

Environmentally friendly oleophobic coating for your clothes

When you spill pasta sauce on your favorite shirt but there is no trace of it after being washed, you can thank oleophobicity, a resistance to oil commonly applied to textiles.

That resistance, however, comes at a price. The coating that makes textiles oil resistant is fluorine-based and breaks down into...Read More »

Fight friction with plasma

For road vehicles, wind resistance increases fuel consumption. But one way to fight wind is with wind. Researchers in Sweden are experimenting with reducing drag on trucks with electric wind devices that mimic the way vortex generators increase lift on airplane wings.

You might have noticed them...Read More »

Cloning Gecko's toes to control adhesion and friction

On April 7th, 2017, Prof. Yu Tian and Prof. Yong Li from the State Key Laboratory of Tribology, Department of Mechanical Engineering at Tsinghua University published a research article entitled with “Controllable Anisotropic Dry Adhesion in Vacuum: Gecko Inspired Wedged Surface Fabricated with Ultraprecision Diamond Cutting” in Advanced Functional Materials....Read More »

Wear Resistant Self Healing Hydrophobic Coatings

Unbreakable: Water-Repellent Coating | MSE Anish Tuteja

Anish Tuteja, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Associate Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, and his research group have created...Read More »

Predicting the limits of friction

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Normally, bare metal sliding against bare metal is not a good thing. Friction will destroy pistons in an engine, for example, without lubrication.

Sometimes, however, functions require metal on metal contact, such as in headphone jacks or electrical systems in wind turbines. Still, friction causes wear and wear...Read More »

ZDDP Tribofilm: Durability and Chemistry

The classical lubrication theory suggests the use of oil to reduce wear by the development of a thin separating lubricating film. However, the trends in the industry dictate miniaturization of the mechanical devices with a concurrent increase in the load carrying capacity. This in turn brings the surfaces to a...Read More »

Tuning dry friction with micro-honeycomb patterns

Controlling friction is one of the top priorities for many tribologists. The friction in bearings has to be reduced to increase the energy efficiency of numerous devices, while friction in transmission systems has to be increased for effective power transmission.

Recently, a joined group of researchers from...Read More »

Graphene tribolayer adsorption onto steel via perpendicular lattice alignment


Owing to its phenomenal physical properties, graphene continues to be investigated as a new lubricating agent. Recent studies have focused on graphene’s ability to lubricate interacting steel surfaces by its ease of shear capability. Certain graphene-containing lubricating solutions have proven to reduce steel-on-steel wear by four orders of magnitude, with...Read More »

Triboelectricity - a big renewable energy source

Tribo-electric effect is an effect of electricity generation, when two dissimilar materials come into contact and electrons migrate from one to another. Most of us have observed the tribo-electric effect in their life when rubbed a balloon at the birthday party against someone’s hair. The effect was the base for...Read More »

Evolving friction of graphene

Two-dimensional materials are defined as substances with the thickness less than few nanometers. While there may exist around 500 of various 2D materials, the first discovered 2D material is graphene. Graphene is flexible, transparent, possesses higher conductivity than copper and is stronger than steel –  no...Read More »

In Situ Generation of Graphene

Graphene has unique properties and is being extensively used in various applications. It got a deserved attention in the field of tribology as well and was reported to lead to the states of superlubricity (see Macroscale superlubricity, Reduce the Friction with Graphene Balls, Superlubricity...Read More »

Decrease Friction with Hydrogen Ions

Currently, a large portion of consumed energy is used to overcome friction. Design of low friction components is a primary goal in building a sustainable society. Superlubricity, the state of ultralow friction (<0.01), has already been achieved in various systems ranging from atomic to microscales. In these...Read More »

The Mechanism of Glycerol Superlubricity

Glycerol is a highly viscous liquid, generating friction coefficient of 0.1 and up for bearing steels in boundary lubrication. In full film EHL, pure glycerol generates high friction as well and therefore is rarely used as a lubricant. It is, on the other hand, non-toxic and bio degradable, hence...Read More »

Superlubricity of nanodiamonds glycerol colloidal solution

Earlier we reported about superlubricity achieved with a mixture of water and 30 [wt%] glycerol by researchers from Tsinghua University, Beijing. The same investigators just published a paper using this as a base lubricant and improving its wear resistance by creating a colloidal solution...Read More »

Superlubricity between steel surfaces with glycerol/water mixture lubricant

It is estimated that the energy lost due to friction in industrialized countries equals to approximately 5% of their gross national products and it is clear, that reducing the friction is highly desirable.

The classical lubrication mechanism of the friction reduction has reached its fundamental limit (the friction of 0.01-0.04) and...Read More »

Antiwear tribofilm growth - AFM study

In a wide range of tribological components, the lubricant is not capable of separating the surfaces and areas of metal-to-metal contact occurs. However, the metal-to-metal contact area can be minimized by the action of additives, which are widely used in the lubricants. They proved to form protective tribofilms on the...Read More »

Superlubricity in graphene nanoribbon - gold interface

Superlubricity is a phenomenon of vanishing friction, which can be used to increase the efficiency of many mechanical devices and reduce the energy costs. The phenomenon is not well understood and mostly is observed in nano and micro scales. A further understanding is needed to transfer the superlubricity into the...Read More »


Reduce the Friction with Graphene Balls

Tiny, sub-micron sized particles are frequently used as additives in the lubricants to improve their frictional and wear behavior. These particles, due to their size, can enter the contact and protect the surfaces from the direct contact in the cases when the base lubricant is not capable of doing it,...Read More »

Ice friction and frictional heat

As it was already pointed in the recent post, the friction on ice is an important topic and its typical low value is attributed to the formation of the water film.

Despite our everyday life experience, at low speeds, the ice friction can be quite large. For example, at the...Read More »

Experimental measurement of adhesion and friction in mesoscopic graphite contacts

Two-dimensional materials, such as graphite, expose an intriguing, but poorly understood low-friction behavior  – superlubricity. Various aspects of superlubricity have been addressed by researchers, mostly based on theoretical considerations, however, accurate experimental measurements of adhesion and friction in 2D materials have not been performed until recently.

A team at IBM Research-Zurich...Read More »

Macroscale superlubricity


Friction rises when bodies come to contact and start relative sliding. This phenomenon occurs in many mechanical systems and it is estimated that over 30% of the fuel in cars is consumed to overcome friction. Taking into account the ongoing battle with the global heating, reduction of these losses is...Read More »