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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Tribology at Sea Event

12:30 - 13:30
30 April 2015
University of Southampton Boldrewood Campus Building 175, Room 1025

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Sue Smith on 023 8059 2316 or email .

Event details

SMMI-LR Seminar Series 2015

Tribological advances have been reducing friction, extending component life by reducing wear as well as lowering the volume of material used in mechanical engineering systems for many decades. However, the recent societal focus on ‘Green’ issues and the ability of companies to define how green their operations and products are has led to the concept of “green tribology”. This has been defined as “the science and technology of the tribological aspects of ecological balance and of environmental and biological impacts” [1]. This growing field includes environmentally friendly tribological surfaces that mimic living natural systems (biomimetic), the control of friction and wear that is of importance for energy conservation and conversion, environmental aspects of lubrication and surface modification techniques, and tribological aspects of green applications such as tidal and wind turbines. Most industrial sectors are looking for green tribological solutions and those engaged in maritime operations and/or offshore energy extraction are no exception. A major driver has been legislation as ship operators, for example, need timely and accurate feedback on impending legislative changes and to be proactive in preparing and responding to future legislation and regulations.

Therefore this lecture will be a personal reflection on two decades of tribological aspects of research into fossil fuel recovery and sustainable energy at sea as well as outline current research into tribology at Southampton. The lecture will focus on how tribology (including Green Tribology) of marine and offshore systems directly affect the economy and how tribology can impact on waste, extend and improve equipment life and reduce carbon footprints of many mechanical systems. Examples relating to oil and gas offshore/subsea rigs and manifolds, marine energy conversion systems (blades and gearboxes), vessel seawater handling systems, propulsion and drag reduction will be used to illustrate green tribology principles. The importance of surface and coating design and their performance in marine environments and well as the use of advanced condition monitoring are highlighted as key to achieving tribological benefits. Some future trends for greening tribology at sea will also be outlined.

[1] Green Tribology: Biomimetics, Energy Conservation and Sustainability, Nosonovsky, Michael; Bhushan, Bharat (Eds.) 2012, Springer, ISBN 978-3-642-23681-5

Speaker information

Professor Robert Wood,Professor of Surface Engineering and Tribology within Engineering Sciences of the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton and has 25 years research experience in the field of tribology and surface engineering. He has spent several years at BP Research researching into erosion and corrosion resistant coatings but returned to Southampton in 1993 to re-establish surface engineering/tribology research. His group was awarded a EPSRC S&I award in 2008 (£10M) to create the National Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS) and was awarded a further £3M for research into Green Tribology under a platform Grant from EPSRC. The Centre has 9 academics, 12 postdoctoral research fellows and 20 research students. Professor Robert Wood has research interests in rain, cavitation and solid particle erosion, erosion-corrosion interactions and modelling; tribological and multifunctional coating design and performance, biomimetic coatings for anti-fouling; electrochemical control of interfacial friction; particle modelling in pipe bends by swirl dispersion of particles. He has been involved in working on erosion of helicopter blades, nuclear slurry handling systems at Sellafield, reverse thrust actuators on aero engines, polymer coatings for potable water systems as well as offshore choke valves. He has teaching experience in Surface Engineering, Tribological Engineering and Fluid Mechanics at Undergraduate and MSc level.

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