Friction, wear and lubrication of machine elements

The optimum interaction of base and mating body in so-called tribological contact is essential for a long service life of machines and systems as well as their energy-efficient and resource-saving operation. The tribology group at MSE studies the interactions between the stressed surfaces of machine components and lubricants. The focus is on fundamental research on the mechanisms, such as friction and wear, as well as the experimental and simulative methods to elucidate the behaviour of lubricants and components under tribological stress. Further research focuses are the detection and classification of wear-critical operating conditions and the prediction of degradation processes.


  • Experimental investigation and in situ analysis of lubricant behaviour and lubricant film formation under high pressures and shear
  • Use-related changes and aging of lubricants
  • Development of lubricant models for tribological simulations
  • Detection and classification of wear processes
  • Experimental investigation of bearing and lubricant-specific influences on the running-in, friction and wear behaviour of rolling bearings
  • Modelling of tribological contacts to predict behaviour with respect to friction and wear-related degradation
  • Tribological boundary layers in highly loaded contacts through interaction between lubricant or lubricant additives and surfaces of machine elements
  • Optimization of friction and wear behaviour through coating and texturing of tribological surfaces

Ongoing research projects

Completed research projects