Lecturer(s): Denis MAZUYER
Course ⋅ 16 hPW ⋅ 8 hStudy ⋅ 4 h


According to a recent study, 20% of the energy consumed by humanity is lost in contact between moving surfaces. This figure is enough to understand what tribology, a scientific discipline dealing with friction, wear and lubrication, can contribute to allow sustainable economic development. If the volumes are often correctly sized and designed, the surfaces constitute a physical barrier to control the energy dissipation in the sliding contacts. Taking into account tribological phenomena is becoming a mandatory step in many industrial fields (mobility, energy, health, etc.) to meet the technological challenges of sustainable production of consumer goods, control of energy consumption or reliability. of manufactured products. Thanks to an interdisciplinary approach coupling, mechanics, physics, materials science and surface, this course gives the general principles of tribology to apply them for the optimization of complex systems such as implants in the human body, assemblies transmitting powers, motorizations or manufacturing processes.


Friction, lubrication, surface engineering, contact mechanics, materials science


The mechanics of static contacts

  • Contact between smooth and rough surfaces : role of the mechanical behaviour
  • Role of thin solid films and coatings

Macroscopic laws of friction and wear

  • Static and kinetic friction
  • Physics of friction and wear

Surfaces and lubricants

  • Adhesive contacts
  • Structure and properties of lubricants and additives

Thin film lubrication

  • Experimental and computational hydrodynamics
  • Elastohydrodynamic lubrication : role of high contact pressure

Boundary lubrication

  • Control of friction and wear
  • Nanotribology and lubrication at molecular scale

Learning Outcomes

  • To analyse an industrial problem in tribology
  • To characterize features of rough urfaces and liquid lubricants as they pertain to interface sliding.
  • To suggest solutions for suitable applications based on improved materials selection, use of tribological coatings, improved desgin or lubrication.
  • To apply the basic theories of friction, wear and lubrication to predictions about the tribological behavior of commonly encountered sliding interfaces.


Final mark = 2/3 Knowledge + 1/3 Know-how

Knowledge N1 = 100% final exam Know-how N2 = 100% continuous assessment