MF2018 Tribology 6.0 credits


Nothing stops and nothing starts without tribology. Tribology is the science of friction, wear and lubrication or the technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion. We are all daily affected by different tribological phenomena. Leaf on the railway track reduces the friction between railway wheel and rail and causes delay in the train traffic, the squealing noise when we brake a car is caused by friction between disc and pad, wear particles generated from brakes and from the road wheel contact are a health problem in urban environment and worn hip joints is another example of a tribological problem. The word tribology is derived from the Greek word tribos meaning rubbing. Although, already 1400 BC tribological knowledge was used when transporting monuments by reducing friction in translationary motion using a lubricant.

  • Education cycle

    Second cycle
  • Main field of study

    Mechanical Engineering
  • Grading scale

    A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Course offerings

Autumn 19 for programme students

Autumn 18 for programme students

Intended learning outcomes

After completing this course you will for different surfaces in contact be able to:

  • calculate contact pressure, temperature and film thickness
  • simulate wear
  • measure friction and wear
  • measure the surface topography
  • identify the dominating surface damage mechanisms
  • apply basic criteria for permissible contact pressure
  • motivate a lubricant selection
  • motivate a material and surface selection

Course main content

The curriculum includes:

  • Static and dynamic loaded contacts
  • Surface topography
  • Friction phenomena in mechanical systems
  • Wear mechanisms in machine elements
  • Wear simulation
  • Selection of lubricant and lubration system
  • Hydrodynamic-, boundary-, mixed- and elastohydrodynamic lubrication
  • Surface damage mechanisms
  • Material selection for tribological contacts


A Bachelor´s degree in Mechanical Engineering or equivalent.


Anton van Beek, "Advanced engineering design lifetime performance and reliability” TU Delft 2006

Andersson ”Dimensionering av några tribokontakter”, Institutionen för Maskinkonstruktion KTH


  • INL1 - Hand in Tasks, 4.5, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 1.5, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Requirements for final grade

To pass this course requires approved assignments (OVN1; 4,5hp) and approved written examination (TEN1;1,5hp).

Offered by

ITM/Machine Design


Sergei Glavatskih, 08-790 63 82,


Sergei Glavatskih <>


Course syllabus valid from: Autumn 2017.
Examination information valid from: Spring 2014.