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Dr Monica Ratoi MSc, PhD, DIC, Fellow of HE

Lecturer of Lubrication Science, nCATS

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Dr Monica Ratoi is the Lecturer in Lubrication Science at the EPSRC National Centre of Advanced Tribology (nCATS) at the University of Southampton.

With 28 years of research experience in lubrication, tribology and nanotechnology at Imperial College, University of Oxford and nCATS, she has established a strong track record and international reputation in these fields. She leads the teaching of tribology at nCATS and has published interdisciplinary research in top journals on the topics of organic friction modifiers and antiwear additives, Langmuir Blodgett and self-assembly layers, aqueous lubrication, lubricant nanoadditives, lubrication for hydrogen technology, lubrication of polymers and composites, nanotechnology and nanotoxicology.

Monica has a long-established collaboration with the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research in Japan and Hydrogenius Centre at Kyushu University in Japan. Her experience and multidisciplinary background led to her acting as expert advisor for the European Parliament Science and Technology Options Assessment on Nanotechnology, evaluator for Nanotechnology Risk and Safety for European NANO projects and Scientific Editor of the Nature journal Scientific Reports. Monica and her group received international awards from the top international tribology societies: STLE (US) and JST (Japan) and TTRF (Japan) and JSPS (Japan) for her cutting-edge research. Her research is funded by major lubricant companies: JXTG Japan, Chevron Oronite, ExxonMobil etc.

BSc Hons, Chemistry and Physics - First Class degree, University ‘Al. I. Cuza’ Iasi 1992

PhD, University of London, 1996

DIC, Imperial College London, 1996

Fellow of Higher Education Academy, 2013

Research interests

  • new classes of efficient, green lubricants and lubricant additives
  • in-situ innovative techniques for direct visualisation and characterization of lubricant films in tribological contacts
  • lubrication of sustainable technologies (hydrogen technology, wind turbines, Hybrid and Electric Vehicles etc).
  • lubrication of polymers and composites for engines, transmissions, prosthetic joints etc)
  • safety and risk of nanotechnologies

Research group

national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS)

Research project(s)

Particle analysis

Most hip and knee implants fail due to the effects of wear particles created by the implant.

Effects of vitamin E and natural lubricants on wear and oxidation of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)

Understanding the effects of natural lubricants in artificial joints to improve implants.

Polymer lubrication

This project investigates the tribological and wetting properties of a range of polymers with different polarities, hardnesses and roughnesses.

Nanoadditives for lubrication of hydrogen technology

Hydrogen fuel cells are currently being developed as an alternative to fossil fuels. However, hydrogen is a small atom and can permeate the surface of a material in high-pressure applications. Tribological components (e.g. bearings, valves, seals) subjected to a hydrogen atmosphere are affected by chemical changes of the substrate surface. A solution to this problem may be provided by the use of WS2 nanoparticles as additives in lubricants.This project was awarded a one year JSPS Short-term Fellowship (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) to facilitate collaboration with Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. The project aims to investigate how the lubricant composition can mitigate the challenges posed by hydrogen environments.

WS2 as lubricant nanoadditives

Integration of nanoscale materials into complex systems has been enthusiastically driven over the last fifteen years by their wide range of potential benefits in many applications. In lubricants such as engine oils, transmission fluids, gears and bearing oils, nanoadditives have the potential to significantly reduce friction and wear of moving parts and enhance machine durability.

Nanoparticles characterization for nanotoxity

This study is proposing the use of enthalpy of wetting which depends on both specific surface area and surface properties, is easily measurable and proves to be highly relevant for predicting nanoparticles’ dispersion state and their interaction with the lungs.

The impact of Friction Modifiers on ZDDP engine oil tribofilms

Friction modifiers and antiwear additives have been found to competitively react/adsorb on the rubbing ferrous substrates in a tribological contact.

Lubrication of Hydrogen Technology

Lubrication by Lamellar Liquid Crystals

Lubrication of PEEK and its composites with steel counterparts

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Dr Monica Ratoi
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number NNN: 7/4037

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