Kenneth Holmberg, a friction researcher at VTT, wins the highest international award in the field

The Tribology Trust will present VTT Professor Kenneth Holmberg with the most highly prized award in the field, the Tribology Gold Medal Award, for his long-standing, major achievements in material and friction research. The impacts of Holmberg's research can be seen in lower energy consumption by machinery, which has an effect on climate change. Holmberg is the first Finn to be awarded the prize.

Click Image to Enlarge
Tribologia_uutinen

Tribology is a multidisciplinary research area which involves the study of friction, wear and lubrication-related phenomena on contact surfaces.

- Friction accounts for 20% of all energy consumption in the world. When friction is reduced, less energy is consumed. This is an excellent way of combating climate change, says Professor Holmberg. 

Friction and wear are major factors when putting large masses into motion. For example, friction accounts for over 30% of fuel consumption in passenger cars, 40% of energy consumption in mining industry equipment and 30% of mechanical power in paper-making machines.

Holmberg has three research focuses related to the reduction of friction and machine wear: thin surfaces layers such as nanostructured thin films, diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings and graphene; modelling and digital design; and their a global impact. The related findings have great impacts on whole of society, in industry, power plants, transport and residential environments.

Digitalisation is transforming the development of materials and enabling precise customisation. A computer can be used to design a digital model of the mechanical component and its material to which intelligent features such as sensors are added. These will detect cracks that appear in the machine and repair them automatically. Optimal surface shaping and thin coatings can reduce friction by 50%. We have now achieved surfaces that are one hundred times more slippery than 20 years ago. VTT's ProperTune material design tool accelerates various design stages, shortening time-to-market. In addition, machines last longer and expensive downtime is avoided.

Artificial intelligence is being applied increasingly often, due to the large data quantities needed for digital design.

Holmberg will be presented his award on 20 December at the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Helsinki

Keith Bowen, the chairperson of the Tribology Trust Award Committee, will present Holmberg the award in a ceremony arranged by Ambassador Sarah Price.

The Tribology Gold Medal Award is also known as the "Tribology Nobel prize", because it is awarded in a manner similar to the Nobel prize procedure.

The prize was presented for the first time in 1972 and has been awarded to 38 people from 12 countries.

The Tribology Trust is managed by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, an independent mechanical engineering association with headquarters in London.  The association has a total of 115,000 members in 140 countries.  http://www.imeche.org/

R&D | 18.12.2017

Latest articles

5 Important Maintenance Metrics and How To Use Them

Effective maintenance of equipment is a critical factor in delivering quality operations that provide timely resources at a minimal cost. However, those in the maintenance field understand that equipment reliability does not come easy. 

Applications | 15.10.2018

Sustainability transformation: Are you ready for the change?

Companies which create truly sustainable businesses will remain competitive in the future.

HSE | 27.9.2018

The Advantages of Broadband Ultrasonic Analysis during Leak Detection on Compressed Air Systems

Ultrasonic testing devices have long been established in the field of predictive maintenance to detect leaks on compressed air systems. These devices usually record a frequency range around 40 kHz. SONOTEC Ultraschallsensorik Halle GmbH is breaking new ground with the SONAPHONE ultrasonic testing device. The main difference between this device and the previously available devices is the broadband technology of the sensors in a frequency range from 20 to 100 kHz. This makes applications like automatic leak analysis more reliable.

Asset Management | 26.9.2018

Evaluating IT asset management software: Who do you trust?

Nowadays, more or less all companies have to deal with diverse kinds of IT assets. Using IT assets (software, hardware, digital media and networking) is no longer specific to the technology giants. 

Cmms | 7.9.2018

New methanol engine ready for the marine market

Within the frame of the GreenPilot project, Gothenburg-based ScandiNAOS AB has developed methanol engine concepts for the marine industry. A spark ignited methanol engine that wasn installed and tested in the Swedish Pilot boat “GreenPilot” has now been followed by a compression ignited methanol engine. The GreenPilot project is lead and initiated by Swedish Maritime Technology Forum, part of RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

R&D | 4.9.2018

How to Safely Align Wind Turbines

Safety engineers around the world can breathe easy. The PRUFTECHNIK ROTALIGN® and OPTALIGN® technology has made aligning machine shafts, especially gear shafts, much safer.

Partner Articles | 6.6.2018

Maintenance: A Necessary and Important Function in the Future

Euromaintenance 2016 will take place in Athens at the end of May. It is the ideal moment to reflect on maintenance in a European context. Euromaintenance is known as the summit for all involved in maintenance across Europe, it’s the place to be. The conference, with the support of the EFNMS, is the only commercially independent conference covering the topics we deal with in the maintenance world.

EFNMS | 20.5.2016