Advanced Tribology

Learning outcomes

This assignment addresses the following module learning outcomes:

  1. Describe the scientific features of different lubrication regimes and explain their significance in the context of the tribological performance of machine components
  2. Apply scientific and mechanical principles to analyse components to evaluate wear rates and friction coefficients using simple models for friction and wear
  3. Employ data, including extracting data pertinent to an unfamiliar problem, to synthesize innovative designs and/or critically evaluate the performance of journal bearings, tilted sliding pads and Hertzian contacts using calculator based and computer software based methods
  4. Apply mathematical models to critically review the reliability / failure of groups of machine elements and assess the limitations of a system
  5. Evaluate the impact of approaches to tribological elements of design and operational practice on the sustainability of products and/or engineering systems

The task

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For this assignment you are asked to conduct an individual short “Personal Case Study” in which you analyse, in detail, the tribological performance (ie., lubrication, friction or wear) of a mechanism or moving contact of your own choice using a mathematical model. (Typically, this will be implemented in an Excel spreadsheet.) There are two steps:

(1) A brief (1 – 2 page) written plan describing your study, outlining the topic, specific aim (study question(s) to be addressed) and plan of analysis (including the list of equations to be used in your analysis placed in order), should be discussed, submitted and agreed with the Module Leader by 26th November 2020 at the very latest. (Email a copy of your plan to the Module Leader. This is a formative element, no marks are associated with this submission, it is done to ensure that you are working towards your marked assessment in an appropriate way.)

(2) For assessment, you are asked to present the results of this study in written form in as “technical paper” as well as making a “Three Minute Presentation (3MT) Powerpoint presentation about the work. Both of these elements will be assessed and marks will contribute to the module mark.

The technical paper and presentation must include:

  • A brief literature survey
  • A detailed description of the mathematical model for the mechanism of lubrication, friction or wear you adopt.
  • A quantitative example, that is a numerical analysis, of the effect of changes in design or operation of the  device on the lubrication/friction/wear mechanism in application you have chosen. Consider several cases of design or operation and compare them.
  • A discussion including a description and quantitative assessment of the ways to optimise a design approach to the device. (e.g., improve the lubrication conditions or reduce friction or wear). This study is intended to allow you to investigate the tribological phenomena you study in class in more detail and to place them into the context of an engineering application. This work expects you to seek out and review research papers, technical data and reports on relevant topics. The task also extends an opportunity for you to develop key skills in conveying technical information and knowledge.

For submission

One single static Powerpoint slide (no animation, etc.) to support your 3MT presentation (which should last between 2 mins 45 sec and 3 mins) and your technical paper.

The paper and Powerpoint slide MUST NOT exceed 2000 words (following School guidelines) when taken together and the paper MUST employ the template structure circulated (including the font size, etc.).

You must include: Date, paper title, submission date and course/module details on your paper. (Please leave your name off the paper, it will be assessed anonymously.)

It is recommended you include the following sections in the technical paper:

  • Abstract (Up to about 120 words)
  • Literature survey (Concise but well referenced and cited)
  • Description of method used (Theoretical background / details of mathematical model)
  • Details of results
  • Discussion of results
  • Conclusions from study

A template for the paper and marking scheme is provided. Detailed guidelines about the content and preparation of the above will be given during the module. If you require guidance for your Case Study please contact me. You should add appendices to your paper to provide evidence of the work you have completed. These include: lists of data with details of the source and spreadsheets as evidence of work completed. No explicit marks will be given for appendix content, but they are essential to allow you to provide supporting evidence of your activity. (Appendix content will not be included in the word count.)


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