Less friction for smoother contact

Wear Protection, Advanced Ceramics

We use experimental friction and wear analysis methods to determine friction coefficients and wear rates, including Stribeck curves. We test, assess and numerically simulate the effects of desired and undesired changes in the tribological contacts involved in ceramics, coatings, polymers and metals. We investigate the tribo-chemistry, tribo-corrosion and 'third bodies' associated with the effects of lubricants, media and temperature.

This enables us to identify the conditions under which the materials can be used reliably (sliding speed, contact loads, temperatures, lubrication requirements, smooth running) and what the effects of a material substitution would be. We also carry out damage analyses, and evaluate and optimize the mechanical behavior of ceramic materials and components. This leads to process and component optimizations, e.g. for ceramic tools, ball bearings, roller bearings, slide bearings or pumps. Another focus of research work here is tribo-polymers, liquid crystalline lubricants and graphenes.


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Press releases


Qualification of ceramic materials for mechanical, thermal, tribological and corrosive loads

Modeling of the tribochemical behavior of ceramic sliding bearings and seals in water

Liquid crystal substances as specialized lubricants with extremely low coefficients of friction

Mechanical, thermomechanical and thermo-cyclical material testing

Tribological characterization and evaluation of machine elements and components in the fields of energy, metalforming and biomedicine

Tribology of DLC layers and lubricants e.g. for engine components

Solutions to increase the lifetime and performance of lubricated and dry systems for up to 1000° C and of applications at sliding speeds of up to 40 m/s

Numerical simulation of tribological contacts in terms of mechanical contact loads, wear and contact fatigue



Tribological coatings

The tribology of ceramic materials and layers depends on the conditions of use. It is essential to replicate the conditions of use to gain an understanding of tribological systems.

Through a combination of application-oriented experiments, differentiated surface analysis and numerical simulation, we develop the optimum solution in consultation with material developers, component manufacturers and users...


Ceramic materials and components

Due to their mechanical, thermal and tribological properties, ceramic materials are superior to metallic materials or polymers in many applications. However, it is necessary to keep the component loads in use within defined limits. That is why load limits are determined for temperatures up to 1600°C or in corrosive media. The experimental results are used in numerical simulations to evaluate stress situations. to optimize component geometry, or to ...


Publications regarding Wear protection, advanced ceramics


Contributions to newspapers, books and conferences as well as dissertations and project reports...

© Photo Dirk Mahler/ Fraunhofer IWM

Rheometer mit Tribo-Messzelle (Fa. Anton Paar) (Foto v.l.) Dr. Tobias Amann und Dr. Andreas Kailer.

© Photo Fraunhofer IWM

Logo: Wissenschaftspreis des Stifterverbandes 2014. Forschung im Verbund

Liquid crystal lubricant

Thanks to a new lubricant, small gears can run with virtually no friction. Made from liquid crystalline fluid, these lubricants drastically reduce friction and wear. For this, Dr. Andreas Kailer und Dr. Tobias Amann awarded together with their project partners the price »Wissenschaftspreis des Stifterverbandes 2014 - Forschung im Verbund«.

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