UK tribology has just celebrated its 50th anniversary, and the formation of nCATS is timely in that it can lead the agenda for UK tribology research for the next 50 years.
nCATS is a multidisciplinary tribology centre. We aspire to research and solve next-generation tribological design issues and enable surface interactions to occur with minimal energy loss and impact on the environment. We link world-class research groups in key disciplines at the University of Southampton to develop enhanced capabilities in advanced computational and experimental tribology. We have also established strategic research partnerships, with access to facilities, with the National Physical Laboratory, Teddington (NPL) and with the tribology/metrology groups at the universities of Cambridge, Huddersfield, Sheffield and Leeds.
We will provide the next generation of underpinning technology in microsystems, biomedical engineering, engineering and engineering chemistry by developing interdisciplinary collaborations across the University and strategic research partnerships with industry. We will increase the understanding of tribological processes at all scales and apply this to improve surface life.
Research will include developing sensors and novel probes for tribological processes, the tribology of renewable energy systems, manipulating complex microbial communities at interfaces linked to tribological issues of fouling, friction and corrosion, and the use of advanced techniques to understand the human cellular and biological reactions and biotribological performance of joint implants. New self-repairing, adaptive, regenerative and biocompatible surfaces will be developed for less invasive and smarter joint repair or replacement.
Tribology is the essential science of all interacting surfaces in relative motion, is immensely important to the successful operation of engineered machines and natural mechanisms of all scales, and demands multifunctional surfaces. It is core to future transport and energy-efficient machines, the control of emissions and low-maintenance renewable energy systems.