October 30, 2008

Center for Advanced Tribology Created

A group of Illinois universities and the U.S. Department of Energy have announced the creation of the Illinois Center for Advanced Tribology.

The Energy Department's Argonne National Laboratory, along with the University of Illinois-Champaign, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois-Chicago, said the center will develop solutions to technical issues related to transportation, health and systems that operate in extreme environments.

Scientists said tribology is the science and technology of friction, lubrication and interactive surfaces in relative motion that are evident in virtually everything that moves, including human beings.

"ICAT members bring together complementary, and in some cases unique capabilities, to resolve critical wear and lubrication issues in the development of advanced alternative energy technologies and biomedical implants and improve functionality and longevity of systems that operate in extreme environments," George Fenske, manager of the tribology section at Argonne, said.

"Through the center we plan to develop new materials, coatings, surface texturing and lubricants that, when integrated together, make robust tribological systems that provide reliable and durable performance under extreme conditions," Fenske added.

Officials said ICAT will allow its partner organizations to respond more quickly to research requests because they will not have to develop a work agreement for each request.