Mechanical systems in which surfaces do not slide or roll against each other are rare, and tribology is therefore a key enabling technology with very wide application. Progress in understanding the surface interactions that lie at the heart of tribology has demanded the skills of mechanical engineers, materials scientists, physicists and chemists
(Hutchings, I.M. & Shipway, P.H. 2017, "Tribology: Friction and wear of engineering materials: Second Edition" in Tribology: Friction and Wear of Engineering Materials: Second Edition, pp. 1-388)
At Nottingham, the team has a focus on the physical processes by which damage occurs in tribologically aggressive environments, and seeks to optimise systems on the basis of such understanding being developed. The team has particular expertise in the area of fretting and in wear in PWR environments.
Fretting is the damage associated with small amplitude motion between surfaces in a contact and is often associated with vibration in a mechanical joint. It is a major source of concern in many highly loaded contacts as it can result in both wear and fatigue. The team has significant expertise in this area and works regularly with industrial collaborators as we seek to understand the complexities of damage in specific situations.
Wear of materials in the hot water environment of a PWR (typically around 300oC) is very complex as it involves both mechanical and chemical damage mechanisms operating together and influencing each other. With our specialist test facility which allows us to examine the sliding wear behaviour of materials in such conditions, we have demonstrated that the behaviour of most materials in such an environment is very sensitive to temperature, but that the relative damage rates at elevated temperature cannot be inferred from tests at lower temperatures with any confidence.
Faculty of EngineeringThe University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
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