Prof. dr. Mitjan Kalin has received an award for the most prominent research achievements of the University of Ljubljana in 2014

date: 26.06.2015

University of Ljubljana placed the work of prof. dr. Mitjan Kalin entitled Contact nano engineering for molecular control of boundary lubrication and friction, amongst the ten most prominent research achievements in 2014.

The purpose of the event, which opened the University Week, was to emphasise the university’s focus on research and to present those researchers who achieved especially visible results this year.

Prof. dr. Mitjan Kalin and co-workers are studying the relations between wetting and surface energy of lubricants and engineering materials and their effect on adsorption and friction. In the research he has shown that in the interface between lubricant and surface the molecular slip occurs, which importantly influences the friction. This phenomenon that is dependent on the wetting and polar surface energy, was up to now not considered in the tribological models, since it was firstly empirically evaluated by prof. dr. Mitjan Kalin and co-workers. These findings distinctively change the understanding of generic mechanisms of friction of lubricated engineering contacts.

In addition, prof. dr. Mitjan Kalin showed that when discussing oil-lubricated contacts the spreading parameter must be considered, instead of so-far used contact angle, for which he and co-workers derived a new spreading coefficient. With this, he has also explained why it was not possible to determine the functional relation between the wetting and the friction by now.

The determination of direct relation between properties of contact surfaces, wetting and friction itself is especially important from the application point of view, since it represents a straightforward tool and criteria for the design of machines and devices with desired lubrication and friction properties.

With such an innovative nano-engineering of advanced surfaces in interfaces prof. dr. Mitjan Kalin with co-workers also achieved up to 60 % lower coefficient of friction compared to conventional contacts under the same conditions, which directly enables outstanding savings of energy in many mechanical systems.