In modern mechanical systems lubricants have become increasingly important to ensure functionality of the components. Therefore, a lubricant should be designed like traditional machine elements.
The scientific field of machine elements has traditionally been associated with mechanical components such as gears, sliding and rolling element bearings, clutches, springs, etc. These components are used as building blocks to make up various mechanical products and systems.
In modern mechanical systems lubricants have become increasingly important to ensure functionality of the components. Therefore, a lubricant must be seen as an important machine element. Accordingly, lubricants should also be designed like traditional machine elements to enable higher performance of modern and future machinery.
Nowadays more and more machine elements are integrated with electronic components so the distinction between mechanical and electronic parts is gradually disappearing. This trend points out a direction in which machine elements should be developed. The demand is for more controllable and adaptive machine elements.
Our modern society depends to a great extent on the functionality and efficiency of all the mechanical machinery that we see around us and use every day. All these machines involve numerous machine elements. This means that even small improvements in making machine element more sustainable and energy efficient lead to significant positive effects seen from a global perspective.