Self-Cleaning Coatings and Lubricants to Decrease Water Consumption in Toilets

Decreasing water consumption is a key theme in today’s world, as we deal with the ever-growing concern of water scarcity. Water scarcity is the inability of freshwater sources to meet the water demand of the planet and its inhabitants. Since the last century, water use has grown at...Read More »

Making Lubricants From Plastic Waste

Single-use plastics have a bad reputation for contributing to the earth’s environmental and pollution issues. With the world’s ever-vigilant focus on protecting the environment, society is determined to halt the use of single-use plastics, such as those plastic bags used at grocery stores.

However, there is...Read More »

Controlling Wettability and Liquid Repellence on Material Surfaces

Industries around the world would welcome new, improved engineered surfaces that included reversibly switching interfacial properties, including the ability to repel liquids and wettability. Wettability is the ability of a liquid to maintain contact with a solid surface. The degree of wettability is a result of a...Read More »

Carbon-Based Materials with Tunable Mechanical and Electronic Properties

When someone hears the word diamond the first thing that comes to mind is often something related to jewelry. However, diamonds are actually mostly used for industrial purposes: 75% of the world’s supply of natural diamonds. Thermal conductivity, strength, hardness, light weight, and electron mobility of diamond...Read More »

Tungsten Pentaboride Can Replace Diamonds for Drilling Purposes

Often, when an individual hears the word diamond, a vision of love and an engagement ring is what first comes to mind. If the first picture is not an engagement ring, then it is typically of another piece of expensive jewelry. Therefore, it comes a shock to most...Read More »

EHLA Protects Brake Discs

Brake discs are traditionally made with gray cast iron with lamellar graphite phases. The advantages are discs with good thermal conductivity, high thermal capacity, made at a relatively low cost. The disadvantage is that as the brake discs found in vehicles are continually subjected to high mechanical...Read More »

Greasy Fingerprints Issue Solved with Nanocoating

You walk into your newly renovated kitchen to admire your brand new, top of the line stainless steel appliances. What? Are those fingerprint smudges on the refrigerator!? Trying to remove those smudges is not an easy process, it takes a lot of hard work.

Does this sound...Read More »

Graphene vs. MoS2: Which One Has Lower Friction?

Two-dimensional (2D) materials, layered structures having atomic- to nano-scale thickness, have shown unique physical properties such as high in-plane stiffness combined with extremely low out of plane bending rigidity. 2D materials have been used in variety of applications including micro- and nanoelectronics devices, sensors and energy storages,...Read More »

Sandia Researchers Identified Nanoscale Mechanisms of Steel Corrosion

Corrosion is a naturally occurring process, which converts refined metals into a more chemically stable form. This could be an oxide, hydroxide, or sulfide. Corrosion is the gradual destruction of metals by chemical or electrochemical reactions with the environment. Steel pipes are all subject to the inevitability...Read More »

Reformulating Lubricating Oils to Improve Engine Performance

Reformulating lubricating oils for the internal combustion engine could result in an improvement in the life of the oil and engine itself, according to a recent article by Dr. Pranesh Aswath.

Dr. Aswath and colleagues from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University...Read More »

Triboelectric Generator to Power Smart Knee Implants

The word ‘smart’ in today’s world has to do with information technology and operating system. It is used in many fields of endeavor including medicine. IT-driven knee implants can soon become a treatment method, kudos to research carried out by a team that includes faculty at State University...Read More »

Renewable Oils Developed by Scientists to Use in Lubricants

Lubricants are used virtually in most machines. The refrigerator compressors, plane thrusters, engine gears, and wind turbines all depend on lubricants to work properly. There is a countless number of crucial agricultural equipment, transportation vessels, industrial machinery and home appliances that rely on lubricants for their proper...Read More »

New composite materials prolong the service life of spare parts for equipment and vehicles

Studies have shown that hybrid powder materials based on natural layered silicates developed by the chemists of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) and the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (FEB RAS) decrease the friction ratio in metals sevenfold. These new materials offer...Read More »

A Better Way to 3D Print Metallic Glass

In the last several years, 3D printing with plastics has advanced rapidly. Now, a team of researchers have shown that it may soon be as easy and practical to use metals with 3D printing.

Led by Jan Schroers, Yale professor of mechanical engineering & materials science, the research team used a...Read More »

Hydrogen embrittlement in high-strength steels

Manufacturers of vehicle and machine components often use high-strength steels to save material in lightweight construction and for crash-relevant structural components that require exceptionally high durability. When welding these components, various factors may lead to the unwanted formation of fine cracks, which may spread and even lead to...Read More »

New bearings for high-speed applications

A clear trend in compressor and pump applications is to raise the power density by increasing the rotational speed. To fulfil this requirement, SKF has developed a new range of single-row angular contact ball bearings. The goals have been...Read More »

Low-temperature steel hardening - a new way

EU-funded researchers developed a novel process for surface hardening of stainless steel that ensures high hardness with extraordinary corrosion and fatigue resistance properties.

Stainless steel is the material of choice in various industries where corrosion resistance is of utmost importance, take for instance parts that are exposed...Read More »

How to get sprayed metal coatings to stick

Micrographs of a metal surface after impact by metal particles. Craters are formed due to melting of the surface from the impact. Image courtesy of the researchers.

“When spraying metal coatings, melting hurts rather than helps”, MIT research reveals.

When bonding two pieces of metal, either...Read More »

Morphable surfaces could cut air resistance

Adding golf ball-like dimples to surfaces could reduce drag and improve efficiency of vehicles.

There is a story about how the modern golf ball, with its dimpled surface, came to be: In the mid-1800s, it is said, new golf balls were smooth, but became dimpled over time as impacts left permanent...Read More »

The Next Mars Rover Wheels Designed To Prevent Wear

The Curiosity Rover has made some incredible discoveries during the five years it has been operating on the surface of Mars. And in the course of conducting its research, the rover has also accrued some serious mileage. However, it certainly came as a surprise when during a routine examinations...Read More »

Metal with Memory: Shaping the Future of Aviation

While aeronautics researchers across the globe continue to develop technologies that will make air travel more efficient, more sustainable and safer, there is a group of NASA researchers who are altering the long-held view that wings have to stick straight out from an aircraft and stay that way.

Through NASA’s Convergent...Read More »

Improved bonding of low friction PTFE

The convenience of non-stick, Teflon-coated cookware is appreciated in kitchens worldwide, particularly by anyone doing the washing up. The chemical making up Teflon, polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE, is one of the slipperiest materials known. Outside the kitchen, the low-friction surfaces and high chemical resistance of PTFE are essential to...Read More »

Concrete strength is determined by internal friction

Cement materials, including cement paste, mortar, and concrete, are the most widely manufactured materials in the world. Their carbon footprint is similarly hefty: The processes involved in making cement contribute almost 6 percent of global carbon emissions.

The demand for these materials is unlikely to decline any...Read More »

Power generating floor from waste - thanks to triboelecric effect

Visitors to UW–Madison’s Union South walk across a section of floor designed and installed by College of Engineering researchers to capture the energy of footsteps and turn it into usable electricity. Photo: Adrienne Nienow

As thousands of visitors each day walk across a new...Read More »

Rare earth oxides make water-repellent surfaces that last

Ceramic forms of hydrophobic materials could be far more durable than existing coatings or surface treatments.

Water-shedding surfaces that are robust in harsh environments could have broad applications in many industries including energy, water, transportation, construction and medicine. For example, condensation of water is a crucial part...Read More »

New lubricated mussel-proof coating

It all began with a bet.

At a conference in Italy in 2013, Nicolas Vogel, then a postdoctoral fellow in Joanna Aizenberg’s lab at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied...Read More »

Graphene based solid lubricant reduces friction and wear

This composite image depicts the makeup and performance of a new non-liquid lubricant developed by researchers at Purdue University. (Purdue University image/ Abdullah A. Alazemi) Download image.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Researchers have created a new type...Read More »

The Science of Friction on Graphene

Sliding on flexible graphene surfaces has been uncharted territory until now,

Graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon sheets just one atom thick, has been the subject of widespread research, in large part because of its unique combination of strength, electrical conductivity, and chemical stability. But despite many...Read More »

Metallic Glass Gears for NASA Robots

Throw a baseball, and you might say it’s all in the wrist.
For robots, it’s all in the gears.

Gears are essential for precision robotics. They allow limbs to turn smoothly and stop on command; low-quality gears cause limbs to jerk or shake. If you’re designing a...Read More »

Vanishing Friction

Illustration: Christine Daniloff/MIT and Alexei Bylinkskii

A new technique tunes friction between two surfaces, to the point where friction can vanish. MIT researchers developed a frictional interface at the atomic level. The blue corrugated surface represents an optical lattice; the red balls represent ions; the springs between them represent Coulomb forces...Read More »

Zeroing in on ZDDP tribofilm growth

Models for the stress-activated growth of tribofilms from ZDDP were modified to include wear.

TWO RECENT CUTTING EDGE ARTICLES reported on work that showed the growth rates of tribofilms from ZDDP were accelerated by contact stress1 or interfacial shear2 under conditions in which the temperature rise caused by rubbing was negligible....Read More »

'Space Fabric' Links Fashion and Engineering

Raul Polit Casillas grew up around fabrics. His mother is a fashion designer in Spain, and, at a young age, he was intrigued by how materials are used for design.

Now, as a systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, he is still very much in the world...Read More »

Benefits of Hybrid Bearings in Severe Conditions

Hybrid bearings, i.e., bearings with steel rings and bearing grade silicon nitride (Si3N4) rolling elements, have been increasingly used in applications operating in challenging environments [1-4] such as high-speed, oil-free air conditioning and refrigeration compressors, general fluid...Read More »

Tribological testing of materials for automotive industry

Quality Magazine have published an article about using benchtop mechanical testing to assess materials in the automotive industry,  saving time and money.

Full scale tests are often used to test the frictional behaviour of materials, to compare their wear characteristics, friction curve and...Read More »

Hard, but highly elastic form of carbon developed

Washington, DC— A team including several Carnegie scientists has developed a form of ultrastrong, lightweight carbon that is also elastic and electrically conductive. A material with such a unique combination of properties could serve a wide variety of applications from aerospace engineering to military armor.

Carbon is...Read More »

Feeling of a touch for robots through artificial intelligence and contact area patterns

Eight years ago, Ted Adelson’s research group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) unveiled a new sensor technology, called GelSight, that uses physical contact with an object to provide a remarkably detailed 3-D map of its surface.

Now, by mounting GelSight sensors on the grippers of robotic arms,...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...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...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 »