Tribochemical reactions on steel and other surfaces in new and aged oils

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Mechanical Engineering


The legislation around CO2 emissions is putting great pressure on the efficient operation of engine components. The wear and friction in engines is managed by the addition of lubricant additives in the fully formulated oils. The field of study which assesses the surface/lubricant interactions and their abilities to reduce wear and friction is tribochemistry and this study will consider the tribology of lubricated systems in new and aged systems.

The objectives are to:
Use in-situ technologies (AFM and XANES) to assess the formation of tribofilms from formulations of dispersants, detergents and friction modifiers.
Determine the tribofilm reaction kinetics as a function of the contact conditions

Potential applications and benefits
This study is firmly based in the field of tribology; the study will benefit the development of new generations of lubricant strategies for engines for the 21st century. There will be new knowledge in terms of the synergies and the antagonisms between additives.

At the end of the PhD the student will have a balanced knowledge of experimental and theoretical phenomena of the tribology processes involving chemistry. The kinetics of tribofilm formation will be characterised in clean and contaminated oils.


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