The causes of tribological problems can be found at various levels - from the nano to the micro or the macro scale. Molecular interactions at the atomic level characterize, for instance, the behavior of a lubricant in combination with a specific surface. Mesoscopic effects, such as the effects of the microstructure, roughness and surface strength, are equally important.
In order to understand wear mechanisms, we take a damage mechanics and energy-based approach as well continuous, high-resolution friction and wear measurements. We identify the effects of tribological loads close to the material surface, e.g. during final processing or running-in, with the aid of surface physics and surface chemistry methods. One of the group’s focal points is sport tribology - the group develops, for example, coatings for skis and optimizes the runners on sporting equipment.