Tribology 101 – Characterizing the Tribo-system and Defining the Tribo-test

Learn the key elements of the tribo-system and how to design a tribo-test

Expand Your Understanding of Tribology

In this educational webinar, tribology expert Dr. Steven Shaffer provides practical guidance on tribological analysis and test method development across diverse applications. He discusses:

  • The five key elements of the tribo-system
  • Considerations involved in designing an effective tribo-test
  • Real-world tribo-test examples

Webinar Summary

This webinar provides an overview of how to characterize tribological systems and design appropriate tribo-tests. Dr. Steven Shaffer defines the five key elements of a tribo-system as materials, contact geometry, loading, motion, and environment and describes each in detail.

Dr. Shaffer then presents several case studies from different industries to demonstrate how these elements define the tribological system, and how to use them to design laboratory tests that adequately simulate real-world conditions.

Some of the applications he highlights include:

  • railroad wheels
  • cranes
  • internal combustion engine components
  • braking materials
  • hydrodynamic and boundary lubricated bearings
  • abrasion-resistant coatings
  • lubricant-free firearms
  • hip prostheses

Throughout the examples, he emphasizes the importance of understanding the intended application, replicating important parameters like stress and motion, and noting the limitations of laboratory testing compared to performance in actual use. 

Find out more about the technology featured in this webinar or our other solutions for Tribology:


Dr. Steven Shaffer

Global Senior Applications Scientist - Tribology, Stylus and Optical Metrology