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Computational Tribology, The Role of Simulation in Tribological Predictions

Computational Tribology : The Role of Simulation in Tribological Predictions


Webinar Presentation (PDF) I Webinar Recording (WebEx)

Note: The presentation and recording are only available to NAFEMS members.


Tribology, lubrication, wear and contact mechanics are all significantly important angles of modern engineering. They affect system’s efficiency by affecting the frictional losses in contacts such as bearings, gears and seals. Durability, life and reliability of engineered systems are directly impacted by integrity of their contacts and wear. The system’s dynamic is also influenced by the stiffness and damping in contacts, prescribing the overall behaviour of the system. The abovementioned aspects are not only applicable to traditional mechanical components; but also to wider applications such as bio-mechanical systems including artificial joints.

The role of simulation and numerical methods in prediction of tribological behaviour has never been more crucial considering the necessity for moving towards zero-prototype approach in engineering developments. The computational methods can also greatly support development of green and sustainable products by controlling frictional losses and wear. Despite the significance of simulation in tribology, the numerical methods in this field are less commercialised in comparison with general purpose finite element or CFD tools.

In this webinar, the following subjects related to simulation in tribology were covered:

  • Some of the most common applications of tribological simulations in modern engineering will be discussed.
  • The theoretical classification of different types of contacts and lubrication regimes in the context of above applications will be outlined. This classification is important for selecting the appropriate numerical techniques.
  • Tribology requires a multi-physics and multi-scale system of methods. Different physics and scales which should be covered by any simulation platform will be discussed.
  • A case study of gear pair and roller bearing in an electric powertrain will be presented, demonstrating the logical workflow for a successful simulation.
  • Future trends in the field of computational tribology will be summarised.



Note: The presentation and recording are only available to NAFEMS members.
This webinar was available for free to the engineering analysis community, as part of NAFEMS' efforts to bring the community together online.

About our speakers ...

Dr Mahdi Mohammadpour

Dr Mahdi Mohammadpour is senior lecturer at Loughborough University, UK. His research is focused on developing numerical methods for tribological analysis including friction, wear and tribo-dynamic response of the system. His academic and industrial activities have led to more than 55 peer reviewed journal papers and more than 40 conference presentations, invited and plenary lectures. He currently serves as associate editor and member of editorial board of International Journal of Powertrains and Shock and Vibration. He is also member of NAFEM’s UK steering group.

Professor Guenter Offner

Professor Guenter Offner has Habilitation (venia docendi) from the Graz University of Technology.He is Project Leader for EXCITETM Solver Development with more than 20 years’ industrial experience. His work is mainly focused on implementation of numerical and mathematical methods of tribology in commercial platforms, and their interactions with other physics such as dynamics. Professor Offner is also member of NAFEMS multi-body dynamics working group.