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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.

Choose semester and course offering

Choose semester and course offering to see information from the correct course syllabus and course offering.

Headings with content from the Course syllabus MF2018 (Autumn 2019–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The curriculum includes:

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

Intended learning outcomes

After passing the course, the students should be able to:

  • describe friction, abrasion and lubrication mechanisms
  • explaine selection of material and lubricant selection
  • analyze tribo-mechanical contacts

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

A Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering or equivalent.

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


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

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

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

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


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

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Sergei Glavatskih

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web MF2018

Offered by

ITM/Machine Design

Main field of study

Mechanical Engineering

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Sergei Glavatskih, 08-790 63 82,