SKF has signed a five-year contract with Imperial College London's Department of Mechanical Engineering to set up an SKF University Technology Centre on tribology. The initial contract will focus on research in the area of modelling in simulation of tribological systems. The prime objective of the co-operation between the organisations is to further reduce friction and wear and, therefore, extend the associated service life and environmental performance of SKF's products.
Dr Alan Begg, Senior Vice President of Group Technology, states: "The contract builds on the long relationship that SKF has had with Imperial. The research program will be focused on further enhancement of SKF's knowledge in the field of tribology. This will further reinforce SKF's world-leading position in modelling bearing performance."
Leading the team at Imperial will be Professor Hugh Spikes, who is head of the tribology research group and has published over 200 refereed papers and patents in the field of tribology. He says: "We are extremely excited to be formalising our relationship with SKF in this way. Not only will it help support our fundamental research work in tribology but it should also ensure that this research is rapidly applied to real applications, such as enabling rolling bearings to operate with lower friction and thus lower energy consumption."
The objective will be reached by developing a detailed understanding of lubricant chemistry, hydrodynamic and elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication, contact mechanics, wear and surface fatigue, backed by computational modelling and theoretical studies.