Research conducted at CSET encompasses the following areas:

  • Fundamental theories of friction, wear, contact, and lubrication
  • Model-based tribological simulations
  • Thin-film lubrication breakdown mechanisms
  • Contact fatigue testing and modeling
  • Surface science and surface chemistry
  • Novel lubricants and lubrication mechanisms
  • Model based surface and texture design
  • Advanced materials, coatings, and composites for tribology applications
  • Tribology for advanced manufacturing

Research Accomplishments

Northwestern Engineering has recently developed the following concepts, methods, models, materials, and software to predict and improve tribological performance and reduce failure in machine components:

  • Advanced contact simulations of rough surfaces of complicated material systems
  • Thermal-electrical-mechanical contact and wear of surfaces
  • Micromechanic theories for contact of engineering surfaces
  • Efficient software to determine the subsurface residual stresses for materials in contacts
  • Contact fatigue life simulation and prediction tools
  • Mechanical design of coatings and functionally graded materials
  • Advanced lubrication simulation tools for solving mixed EHL, coating EHL, and plastic EHL problems
  • Journal bearing design tools
  • Thrust bearing design tools
  • Surface texture design tools
  • Contact simulation tools for rolling bearings and cam system design
  • Design and synthesis of novel lubricant additives
  • Rheological modeling of advanced lubricants
  • Surface texturing methods and equipment