Climate and Monetary Benefits of Tribology

Dr. Mathias Woydt, Matrilub, Germany
Dr. Raj Shah and Gavin Thomas Koehler Instrument Co., U.S.A.

Abstract: The consequences of friction are abundantly present in today’s world. Friction produced from any interacting surfaces in motion wastes energy. It is apparent that energy not consumed downstream does not need to be produced upstream – thus the energy being simply released into the environment. While friction can be employed resourcefully, too much of the force may prove detrimental to the products involved and can cause damage to their surfaces. This nuisance of wear generates waste and fuels material hunger, further straining limited resources. Any resource consumed has an embedded carbon footprint. The proper application of tribology, or the careful selection of lubricated surfaces to reduce the amount of friction, can be utilized to save COwithout losing functional values in use. Subsequently, this reduction would proportionally reduce wear on the surfaces involved – allowing for increased longevity of the products and goods involved. Taking both together, friction reduction and longevity help to limit or reduce CO2 emissions by getting out more from the same amount of resources. Proper lubrication, condition monitoring, reparability or wear resistant materials/coatings all help to minimize friction and to extend longevity. This paper deals with the general question, what will be the monetary values for investments in reducing friction and extending longevity.