The study of friction, wear, and lubrication is of enormous practical importance, because the function of many mechanical, electromechanical, and biological systems depends on the appropriate friction and wear values. In recent decades, this field, termed tribology, has received increasing attention as it has become evident that the wastage of resources resulting from high friction and wear is greater than 6% of the Gross National Product. The potential savings offered by improved tribological knowledge are immense.
However, most engineers do not have a sufficient background in this area. For example, an undergraduate engineering student receives perhaps an hour of instruction in tribology. Moreover, most reference works of tribology provide little guidance to solving real-world problems.
This program presents current insights into tribology, focusing on such fundamental concepts as surface energy, elastic and elastoplastic deformation, micro-fracture, and surface interactions at the micro- and nano-scale. Special consideration is given to the application of fundamental knowledge to control friction and wear behavior through lubrication and the selection of materials and coatings in practical situations. Furthermore, modern experimental methods are discussed and several case studies are used to illustrate how fundamental tribology knowledge can be applied in the design of tribological components and systems.
Earn a Professional Certificate
This course may be taken individually or as part of the Professional Certificate Program in Design & Manufacturing.
It is highly recommended that you apply for a course at least 6-8 weeks before the start date to guarantee there will be space available. After that date you may be placed on a waitlist. Courses with low enrollment may be cancelled up to 4 weeks before start date if sufficient enrollments are not met. If you are able to access the online application form, then registration for that particular course is still open.
- Describing surface topography, physico-chemical aspects of solid surfaces, and surface interactions
- Analyzing the mechanics of solid elastic and elastoplastic contacts
- Recognizing the laws of friction, mechanisms of friction, friction space, stiction, stick slip, and surface temperature
- Appreciating the various modes of wear: adhesive, delamination, fretting, abrasive, erosive, corrosive, oxidational (mild and severe), melt, and the wear-mechanism maps
- Identifying types of lubrication: boundary, solid-film, hydrodynamic, and hydrostatic lubrication
- Examining applications/case studies: sliding contacts, rolling contacts, bearing design, coating selection, and lubrication
- Exploring the design of tribological surfaces and how to troubleshoot tribology problems
- Surveying tribological testing devices and testing design
- Recognizing the seminal role that tribology plays in the satisfactory functioning of mechanical, electrical, electromechanical, and biological systems
- Appreciating of the importance of tribology in minimizing energy consumption, extending product life, and protecting the environment
- Understanding the laws, mechanisms, and models of friction, wear, and lubrication — spanning nano, micro, meso, and macroscales
- Appreciating that tribological properties are the properties of the system as a whole, not just of the individual
- Understanding the methodologies of design and troubleshooting tribological systems
- Understanding the protocols and procedures of accelerated and long-term tribological testing
Who Should Attend:
The program is intended for two kinds of participants: those who are active or intend to be active in research on some aspect of tribology, and those who have encountered practical friction and wear problems and wish to learn novel methods of solving them.
The course requires at least a bachelor's degree in engineering or physical sciences, including basic courses in mathematics, applied mechanics, materials science, physics, and chemistry. Some lectures introduce advanced concepts in these areas and in physical chemistry and thermodynamics. These will be reviewed where necessary to provide the required background. Industrial experience is preferred.
Laptops or tablets for are not required for this course, but are strongly recommended. Each participant receives digital and hard copies of the course lectures.
1 Preliminaries & Course Overview
2 Introduction to Tribology
3 Surface Topography & Surface Properties
4 Sliding Friction: Mechanisms & Models
5 Tribological Testing I: Theory
6 Tribological Testing II: Demonstrations
7 Friction of Undulating Surfaces
8 Sliding Wear
9 Abrasive and Erosive Wear
10 Wear of Ceramics and Brittle Materials
11 Case Studies I: Friction
12 Case Studies II: Wear
13 Wear of Polymers
14 Wear of Coatings
15 Surface Temperature
16 Wear-Mechanism Maps
17 Case Studies III: Wear
18 Case Studies IV: Wear of Polymers & Coatings
19 Liquid and Solid Lubricants
20 Boundary and Thin Film Lubrication
21 Fluid Film Lubrication
22 Case Studies V: Lubrication
23 EHD Lubrication: Gears and Rolling Element Bearings
24 Case Studies VI: EHD Lubrication
27 Prospect on Tribology: A Historical Perspective
Class runs 8:30 am - 5:00 pm every day except Friday when it ends at noon, followed by a farewell lunch.
Special events include: a networking reception Monday evening; a program dinner for course participants, their families, and faculty on Wednesday night; and a farewell lunch on Friday at noon. Evening activities and the lunch are included in tuition.
COMPRESSOR ENGINEER, THERMOKING CORPORATION
“A good practical overview of tribology. I didn't expect it to be as practical / real-world / valuable as it was. I expected it to be "in-the-clouds" mysterious as other triobologists I have come across have acted. I like the courage of the presenters defining what is known, what is estimated, and what is unknown. It has improved my view of tribology's legitimacy.”
CHEMICAL INSTRUMENTALIST, INTERLUB S.A.,MEXICO
“I learned a lot and realized that there is a lot more to learn and study about tribology. I came back with a lot of ideas for the company and my testing design.”
LEAD TECHNOLOGIST, TRIBOLOGY, DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, CANADA
“An excellent overview of Tribology. A chance to ask questions and get answers on specific topics of interest. The ability to converse with industry professionals regarding very specific areas of knowledge.”
LUBRICATION ENGINEER, EATON CORPORATION
"Very effective. I came to the class with a problem I needed to start on without knowing where to begin. By day two of the class, I had a feasible idea and by day four I believe I have a solution to the problem. Now, I just need to prove my theory. My management will understand that this class was very valuable."
SR. COATING SPECIALIST, ROLLS-ROYCE
"Excellent program. Exceptional opportunity to learn from word-wide known tribologists."
ENGINEERING SPECIALIST, CATERPILLAR INC.
"Not only learned theories of tribology, but also the way of solving engineering problems. The instructors delivered very nice and well prepared talks. I would recommend this class to any of my colleagues in the tribological area."
SENIOR ENGINEER, SASOL SYNFUELS
"As a metallurgist, the chosen subject matter was applicable. I will be directly applying what I learned and use the handouts and textbooks as references for years to come."
STAFF ENGINEER, GOODRICH AEROSTRUCTURES
"This type of information and presentation is simply not available in the working world."
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO
"The experience was extremely positive, mostly because Drs. Saka and Suh are very good instructors. They know how to extract the essence, how to structure, and how to make sense of the multitude of information from a complex field."
ENGINEER, SATCON TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
"Useful in understanding widely varying results obtained in practical wear applications and ways to avoid them."
GENERAL MANAGER-DIRECTOR, CUMMINS, ARGENTINA
"The top quality of the professors and lectures, the material, social events, overall organization and logistics were just outstanding!"
TECHNICAL CONSULTANT, AREVA NP
"The course was very good and well worth the cost and time to attend. The content was extensive and informative. The lecturers were impressive and highly knowledgeable in their fields. The social events (dinner and lunch) were superb and provided for wonderful personal and technical exchanges with the attendees and lecturers. I found the dialogue and questions in the classroom to be very interesting and engaging. The classroom accommodations were good and the refreshments provided were of good quality. The discussion of applications, case studies, and problem solving were of most interest."
Dr. Nannaji Saka has been a Principal Research Scientist and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Now he is Vice President of Boston Tribology Associates, Cambridge, MA. He was graduated with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering (in first class with honors) from Andhra University (India), with a master's degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology/Kanpur (India), and with a doctoral degree in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT (Cambridge, MA). After graduating with a doctoral degree, Dr. Saka joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT as a post-doctoral fellow to work with Prof. Nam P. Suh on the role of microstructure in the delamination wear of metals and alloys. Over the decades, he has collaborated with the distinguished tribologists Prof. Nam P. Suh and the late Prof. Ernest Rabinowicz, on a variety of tribological phenomena and manufacturing processes.
Dr. Saka is the co-editor of the proceedings of an international conference on the Fundamentals of Tribology held at MIT and published by the MIT Press. He has authored or co-authored over a hundred technical papers in tribology, mechanical behavior of materials, manufacturing processes, and drug delivery. Over the years, he has supervised ten bachelor's theses, twenty-five master's theses, eight doctoral theses, and has been a committee member of over twenty doctoral theses. While Dr. Saka has devoted much of his time to research and guidance, he has also lectured in both undergraduate and graduate classes, in summer school programs, and at institute-wide symposia. He has been a consultant in tribology and materials processing to several companies. He holds ten joint US patents on electrical contacts, gamma-ray tomography, micro-arc oxidation, and Chemical-Mechanical Polishing (CMP) and drug delivery (pending).
Dr. Saka has been the principal or co-principal investigator of numerous projects sponsored by several US government agencies (DARPA, NSF, ONR and DTNSRDC) and by many industrial firms (Aeroquip Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation, Draper Laboratory, Hoya Electronics, INEL, Intel, Kendall, New England Instruments, Omron, Pratt & Whitney, Samsung, Semiconductor Research Corporation, Silicon Valley Group, Teradyne, and others). Dr. Saka has been an associate editor of the journals ASME Press Series on Advances in Information Storage Systems, and STLE Tribology Transactions. He regularly reviews technical papers for the international journals ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Journal of Tribology, Tribology Transactions, and Wear.
He has been a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE), the American Society of Metals International (ASMI), Electrochemical Society (ECS), American Society for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and Sigma Xi. He is a life member of the Indian Institute of Metals (IIM).
Dr. Nam Pyo Suh was the 13th and 14th President of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). He is also the Ralph E. & Eloise F. Cross Professor, Emeritus, M.I.T. He was also the Head of Mechanical Engineering (1991-2001), Director of L.M.P. (1976-1984), and Director of the MIT-Industry Polymer Processing Program (1973-1984) at MIT. He was the presidential appointee in charge of engineering at N.S.F. (1984-1988).
He is the author of about 300 papers and eight books and holds about 100 patents, including those related to tribology, MuCell (microcellular plastics), Mixalloy, the on-line electric vehicle (OLEV), and the Mobile Harbor (M.H.). He is the author of the papers on delamination theory of wear, the genesis of friction, solution wear, and undulated surfaces. He is also the author of Tribophysics; The Principles of Design; Axiomatic Design: Advances and Applications; and Complexity: Theory and Applications; and On-Line Electric Vehicle (OLEV). He edited many books.
During his tenure at KAIST (from July 2006 to March 2013), its worldwide reputation has increased from 198th to 63rd overall and top ’20s in many fields of engineering. He received ten honorary doctoral degrees from four continents, including three in the U.S., one in Sweden, one in Israel, one in Australia, one in Portugal, two in Romania, and one in Turkey. He is the recipient of the 2009 ASME Medal; the 2006 General Pierre Nicolau Award of CIRP; the National Science Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award; Ho-Am Prize in Engineering; Hills Millennium Award of the Institution of Engineering Designers of U.K.; Mensforth International Gold Medal; The Institution of Electrical Engineers, U.K., William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award, ASME; and many other awards from many countries. He is a member of many academies. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and a member of the International Advisory Board of the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM).
Dr. Said Jahanmir serves as Assistant Director for Federal Partnerships, Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with a primary responsibility as Executive Secretary, Subcommittee on Advanced Manufacturing, National Science and Technology Council, Executive Office of the President of the United States. Prior to this appointment he served as Sr. ASME Legislative Fellow in the Office of Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13), U.S. House of Representatives, providing advice on Manufacturing, Science and Technology Policy, Engineering Education and Manufacturing Workforce Development. He was elected and served as the 137th President of ASME (2018-2019). He is a technology leader with extensive scientific/technical and management experience in academia, U.S. government and industry. He is the President of Boston Tribology Associates, an engineering consulting firm. His prior experience includes National Institute of Standards and Technology (Ceramic Manufacturing Group Leader), National Science Foundation (Tribology Program Director), MiTiHeart Corporation (President and CEO), Exxon Research and Engineering Company (Sr. Research Eng.), Cornell University (Mechanical Engineering Assistant Prof.), University of California at Berkeley (Mechanical Engineering Lecturer) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Mechanical Engineering Instructor). His pioneering research in manufacturing, tribology and medical devices is widely recognized in the scientific and engineering communities. He has published more than 240 archival papers and major reports and has edited several books and conference proceedings on these subjects. He is the founding Executive Editor of the Machining Science and Technology journal, now in its 24th year. He holds seven US and EU patents. He received Honorary Membership in ASME in 2013, recognized for seminal contributions to the advancement of mechanical engineering, particularly the multidisciplinary technologies in manufacturing, tribology, and biomedical materials and devices, and in the promotion of standards; and for significant contributions to ASME. He has served in various leadership positions at ASME including VP for Research and Governor-At-Large. He received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington and his master's degree and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT.
Nicholas X. Randall is a Chartered Engineer (CEng MIM) and holds a B.Sc. in Materials Science from Brunel University (London, UK) 1994 and a Ph.D. from Neuchatel University (Neuchatel, Switzerland) 1997. .His PhD Thesis entitled, “Development & Application of a Multi-functional Nanotribological Tool” consisted of developing the first combined system for nanoindentation and Scanning Force Microscopy (SFM). This system has now been commercially available since 1997.
From 1997 to 2002 he served as the Customer Services Manager with CSM Instruments in Switzerland. He was responsible for after-sales service, technical documentation, installations, training, and contract testing laboratory service. From 2002 to 2014, he was the Vice President of Business Development at CSM Instruments and was responsible for setting-up the US subsidiary of CSM Instruments in Boston, MA. After 10 years in the USA, he returned to Switzerland as Lead Scientist & Business Development with Anton Paar Tritec, following the acquisition of CSM Instruments by Anton Paar in 2013. He then joined Alemnis in 2019 as Vice President. Alemnis develops and manufactures mechanical testing instruments for small-scale testing, both in-situ and ex-situ (www.alemnis.ch)
Dr. Randall has published extensively in the field of surface mechanical properties testing, especially related to scratch (adhesion) testing, nanoindentation and tribology testing. He is chairman of ASTM committee G02.40, responsible for developing tribological test standards for non-abrasive wear. He has written a chapter on tribological testing of biomaterials for the ASM Handbook on Biomaterials Testing and a chapter on Experimental Methods in Tribology for the Springer book Tribology for Scientists and Engineers.
He is a member of MRS, ASM, ASTM, STLE and The Institute of Materials (UK). He is a regular reviewer for Surface & Coatings Technology, Thin Solid Films, Wear, Tribology International, Materials Chemistry & Physics, Materials Letters and Journal of Materials Research. He is a member of the Editorial Committees of Surface & Coatings Technology and Industrial Lubrication and Tribology. He also runs a biannual course on Reliability and Test of MEMS and Microsystems (https://www.fsrm.ch/doc/c141.php) and an introductory course on tribology in French (https://www.fsrm.ch/doc/c638.php) as part of FSRM (Swiss Federation for Research in Microtechnology) as well as an annual professional course on Nanoindentation (www.nanoindentationcourse.com).
Dr. Vern Wedeven is president of Wedeven Associates, Inc. (WAI), Edgmont, PA, a small high tech business devoted to tribology research and development. Since 1987 he and his associates have developed specialized tribology test machines and test methods that link fundamental principals of tribology to service applications.
Wedeven Associates Machine (WAM) technology is providing tribology research capability for major bearing companies, military laboratories and research institutes. He is involved in major research projects and consulting that serve aerospace and other industries. Specialized WAM machines are used by the U.S. military (Navy, Air Force and Army), bearing companies (SKF-ERC, Netherlands; Timken Research, Canton, OH) and research institutions (Lulea, Sweden; Kyushu Inst of Tech, Japan and Welch Tech Ctr, India). Vern Wedeven has developed test methods for qualification of jet engine oils under a SAE international specification AS5780. These tests are for wear/scuffing load capacity, traction coefficient and pressure- viscosity coefficient. He has made major contributions to the development of space propulsion systems (Space Shuttle Main Engine turbo-pumps) and aero-propulsion (jet engine oils, bearing and gear materials).
Vern Wedeven is a graduate of Calvin College (BS), University of Michigan (BSME) and Imperial College, London, Ph.D. Previous employment includes NASA Glenn Res Ctr., NASA Hdqts and SKF- America. He is the author of over sixty technical papers in the area of tribology. He has authored chapters in three books and he holds three patents. He is a Fellow of STLE and the recipient of several awards: Walter D. Hodson Award (1975) for best published paper in STLE by an author under age of 35 years, Captain Alfred E. Hunt Award (1979) for best paper published in STLE, Arch T. Colwell Cooperative Engineering Metal for contributions of SAE Propulsion Lubricants Committee and the STLE International Award (2008) for outstanding contributions in tribology and the ASME Mayo D. Hersey award for advancement of the science and engineering of tribology.
This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please complete the Custom Programs request form for further details.
|Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (30%)||30|
|Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (30%)||30|
|Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (40%)||40|
|Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (70%)||70|
|Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (20%)||20|
|Labs: Demonstrations, experiments, simulations (10%)||10|
|Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (20%)||20|
|Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (30%)||30|
|Advanced: In-depth explorations at the graduate level (50%)||50|