2022 Fundamentals of Tribology

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Mechanical Engineering
Tanaka Tomohisa  Ohtake Naoto  Hirata Atsushi  Tanaka Shinji 
Class Format
Lecture    (Face-to-face)
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
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Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

This course focuses on basic concepts in tribology. The term 'tribology' is defined as : the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion and of the practices related thereto [OECD. 1969]. By combining lectures and exercises, the course enables students to understand and acquire the fundamentals of tribology which are important for developments of real applications in mechanical engineering.

The aim of this lecture is to provide a broad based introduction to the interdisciplinary scientific discpline of tribology in engineering fields, including state of art in the information and practical solutions of problems.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Understand basic aspects of friction and wear.
2) Understand and derive governing equations of hydrodynamic lubrication.
3) Understand basic aspects of surface roughness and contact mechnics.
4) Understand basic aspects of boundary lubrication.
5) Understand basic aspects of surface treatment.


Tribology, Friction, Fluid lubrication, Boundary lubrication, Surface modification

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

The course is taught in lecture style. Exercise problems will be assigned every 2 or 3 classes. Required learning should be completed outside of the classroom for preparation and review purposes.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction (T.TANAKA) - fundamentals of tribology Understand the fundamental of tribology such as necessity, history, technical words et al.
Class 2 Surface and friction 1 (T.TANAKA) -contact of smooth surfaces Understand the surface, friction and contact of smooth surfaces.
Class 3 Fundamental of fluid film lubrication (T.TANAKA) - Stribeck curve Understand viscosity and Stribeck curve
Class 4 Fluid lubrication theory 1 (T.TANAKA) - Reynolds equation Derive Reynolds equation
Class 5 Fluid lubrication theory 2 (S.TANAKA) - journal bearings Understand the hydrodynamic lubrication theory of journal bearings.
Class 6 Fluid lubrication theory 3 (S.TANAKA) - elastohydrodynamic lubrication Understand EHL(elastohydrodynamic lubrication) theory
Class 7 Surfaces and friction 2 (S.TANAKA) - contact of rough surfaces Understand surface roughness and contact of rough surfaces.
Class 8 Surfaces and friction 3 (HIRATA) -friction of clean surfaces Understand surface layer of solid.
Class 9 Boundary lubrication 1 (HIRATA) - surface energy Understand surface energy.
Class 10 Boundary lubrication 2 (HIRATA) - adsorption Understand boundary lubrication and adsorption
Class 11 Boundary lubrication 3 (HIRATA) - lubricant properties Understand liquid/solid lubricants.
Class 12 Wear (OHTAKE) - wear map Understand the fundamental of wear.
Class 13 Tribomaterials and surface modification (OHTAKE) Understand the tribomaterials and surface treatment method.
Class 14 Surface modification 2 (OHTAKE) - properties of modified surfaces Understand the mechanical properties of modified surfaces.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


KATO, T. and MASUKO,M. Fundamentals of Tribology. Tokyo:Baifukan, (Japanese)

Reference books, course materials, etc.

YAMAMOTO, Y. and KANETA, M. Tribology. Tokyo. Rikogakusha (Japanese)

Assessment criteria and methods

Students' knowledge on Triboloby, and application skill to basic problem will be evaluated.
Evaluation is carried out by one of the followings.
(1) Based on the final exam (80%) and in-class assignment/homework (20%).
(2) Based on the results of in-class and end-of-term assignments.

Related courses

  • MEC.F211 : Practical Fluid Mechanics
  • MEC.C201 : Mechanics of Materials
  • MEC.H201 : Machine Elements and Machine Drawing
  • MEC.J311 : Fundamentals of Precision Machinery
  • MEC.J432 : Mechanism and Control for Ultra-precision Motion
  • MEC.J331 : Fundamentals of Micro and Nano Machining
  • MEC.J531 : Micro and Nano Systems

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites

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