1st International Conference on Polymer Tribology, PolyTrib 2014, 11th-12th September 2014, Bled, Slovenia

date: 05.01.2015

The Slovenian Society for Tribology has organized the 1st International Conference on Tribology of Polymers - PolyTrib 2014, which was held on the 11th and 12th of September in Bled. Despite being only the 1st conference, it was attended by over 70 participants from 11 different European countries.

polytribIt is important to note that the conference participants came from 17 different research institutes and 20 companies, with as many as 34 participants coming from companies that are related to the tribology of polymer materials.

As the name suggests, the main topic of the conference was the tribology of polymer materials, but significant emphasis was also placed on the gears of polymer materials. Mainly because of their good properties and relatively low prices, the polymer gears are namely increasingly replacing steel gears in the mass production for a large number of different applications.


Opening of the PolyTrib 2014 conference


The conference featured 20 lectures, of which 6 were given by invited lecturers. Additionally, 5 contributions were also presented in the poster session.

In the invited lectures some of the most relevant topics at the conference were presented. Prof. Dr. Patrick De Baets (Ghent University, Belgium) discussed about the challenges and opportunities in the tribology of polymers. He pointed out that there are still a lot of unexplored areas and problems which will need to be resolved if we want to expand the knowledge about the behavior of polymer materials in tribological applications.


Invited lecturer Prof. Dr. Patrick De Baets


The second invited lecturer was Prof. Dr. Sergei Glavatskih (Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden), who spoke about the possibility of the use of polymer materials in sliding bearings. Polymer materials can, compared with the conventional materials for sliding bearings, significantly improve their load bearing capacity and operating life. Mr. Daniel Merken (Erlangen University, Germany) was also invited to give a lecture and he explained about friction and wear of polymer materials and their transferability to the wear of polymer gears. This lecture was followed by Dr. Bernd Wetzel (Institute of Composite Materials, Germany). Dr. Wetzel gave a lecture on the analysis of the tribological properties of PEEK materials and about the measurement of temperatures in sliding contacts. Three more invited lectures were presented on the second day of the conference. The first one was given by Dr. Stefan Beermann from KissSoft enterprise. He spoke about the new standard for plastic gears (VDI 2736). For the last 20 years there was no valid standard for plastic gears, so the new standard presents a true enrichment of this field of expertise. This lecture was followed by a lecture given by Prof. Dr. Igor Emri (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), who introduced the possibility of predicting fatigue damage in components made of polymer materials and highlighted their physical background. The last invited lecturer was Prof. Dr. Mitjan Kalin (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), who discussed the specifics and the related challenges that we are facing in tribological characterization of polymer materials due to their mechanical and thermal properties that are different from conventional materials. He presented some possible approaches towards improving the tribological characterization of polymers for real applications.

Participants of the conference could, therefore, gain a lot of new information in the field of tribology of polymer materials, and especially also make new acquaintances and business contacts. Due to the very positive response and success of the conference, we believe and hope that we will meet again in 2 years in even greater numbers at the 2nd International Conference on Polymer Tribology, the PolyTrib 2016.

More about the program and other information can be found on www.tint-polytrib.com.