Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, the famous Italian engineer, architect, painter, musician, mathematician can also be considered as The First Tribologist! Although the term itself was invented approximately 450 years after Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), he was the first one to perform the systematic study on friction, as pointed out by Professor Ian Hutchings. His sketches are widely known among tribologists and Vitruvian Man by da Vinci can be recognized in the logo of tribonet.
In a recent paper in a Wear journal, after a thorough examination of the widely dispersed across Europe ‘mirror writing’ notes and puzzling sketches of Leonardo, Dr. Hutchings concluded that the results achieved almost 500 years ago were outstanding. Extraordinary inventor Leonardo by 1943 had not only understood, but also applied the fundamental laws of friction (currently known as Amontons) to the solution of practical problems. Remarkably sophisticated, Leonardo’s understanding of friction included the appreciation of the influence of the materials and the lubrication state on the friction coefficient and the values of and were encountered in his notes.
Having analyzed the notebooks, Professor Hutchings concludes that Leonardo’s interest and understanding of friction was deep-rooted and more sophisticated than it was suggested. Despite the fact, that these notes remained unknown until relatively recently, Leonardo da Vinci is a remarkable pioneer of tribogoly, The First Tribologist!
Many tribologists are not aware of the great interest of Leonardo’s work and more interesting facts, sources and findings can be found in the original paper: Leonardo da Vinci׳s studies of friction, Ian M. Hutchings.
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