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

Neste, ReNew ELP and Licella to collaborate in utilization of waste plastic as a raw material

Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel, UK-based chemical recycling company ReNew ELP, and Australian technology developer Licella are joining forces in a development project to explore the potential of using mixed waste plastic as a raw material for fuels, chemicals, and new plastics. The companies are also collaborating with the aim to facilitate regulatory acceptance for chemical recycling. 

HSE | 16.8.2018

Bearing solution saves over 130,000 euros at energy plant

When a UK-based electricity producer was experiencing frequent breakdowns due to bearing failures in two industrial fan units, the plant requested the services of NSK to propose and implement a suitable solution. After performing an application review as part of NSK’s AIP (Added Value Programme), a change of bearing and fixing arrangement led to significant cost savings.

Asset Management | 16.8.2018

Wärtsilä Ballast Water Management Systems successfully tested for global compliance

Technology group Wärtsilä has announced that its Aquarius UV Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) has successfully completed all testing procedures required for United States Coastguard (USCG) type approval compliance. The documentation for full USCG type approval is being finalised for submission and awaits only final input from DNV-GL, the USCG approved independent laboratory.

Applications | 25.7.2018

Bilfinger relies on Comos software from Siemens for group‑wide digitalization

Siemens and industrial service provider Bilfinger SE have decided to step up their cooperative association, as Bilfinger drives forward digitalization using the Comos Engineering & Maintenance Platform across its many sites and subsidiaries spread around the globe. This software platform from the Siemens Digital Enterprise portfolio not only allows close cooperation between the different Bilfinger sites and its customers through the use of a shared database, but also offers sufficient flexibility to accommodate individual project requirements.

Cmms | 18.6.2018

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

Swedish Project Investigates Ways to Produce Fuel from Waste Tyres

The possibility of producing pyrolysis oil from worn out tyres is investigated in a research project run by RISE Research Institutes of Sweden together with Scandinavian Enviro Systems and Ragn-Sells with support from Vinnova.

R&D | 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