Special Issue "Surface Forces and Friction"

A special issue of Lubricants (ISSN 2075-4442).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 January 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Tadeusz Stolarski

School of Engineering and Design, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: surface mechanics and tribology; high speed air bearings; boundary lubrication - analytical models; dry face seals; surface fatigue of coatings; acoustic bearings

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Friction as one of the oldest problems in physics and engineering is inevitably associated with surface forces. Although it has been studied intensively for centuries there are still unresolved issues of fundamental nature related to the origin of friction and its irreversibility, the role of dynamical phase transitions in molecularly thin lubricant layers, the mechanism of boundary layer formation by nano-lubricants, the importance of surface texture in friction and lubrication. The ability to produce effective low-friction surfaces either by the use of lubricating fluids or by the modification of contacting surfaces has become an important factor in the miniaturisation of moving components in many engineering devices such as magnetic storage, recording systems, miniature motors, and components in micro-machines.

The purpose of this special issue is to create a platform for scientists, engineers and practitioners to present their latest theoretical and technological advancements in the understanding of phenomenon of friction and its association with surface forces.

The solicited papers should contain original ideas and new approaches, with clear indication of advances made in problem formulation, methodology, or application with respect to existing and know results. Papers presenting newly emerging areas in the studies of surface forces and friction are especially welcome.

Scope of the Special Issue

Topics to be covered in this special issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • sliding on clean (dry) surfaces
  • sliding on lubricated surfaces
  • sliding of adsorbed layers
  • boundary lubrication by nano-fluids
  • lubricated friction dynamics in molecularly thin layers
  • novel sliding systems
  • friction and lubrication of engineered surfaces
  • surface topography role in friction
  • measurement of surface forces contribution to friction

Prof. Dr. Tadeusz Stolarski
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Lubricants is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • dry sliding
  • lubricated sliding
  • boundary lubrication
  • sliding on surface oxides
  • nano-fluids lubrication
  • lubricated friction dynamics
  • novel sliding systems
  • engineered surfaces (friction)
  • surface topography and friction
  • surface forces’ measurement
  • friction under complex kinematics

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: The Influence of Surface Roughness and Particulate Size on the Tribological Performance of Environmentally Friendly Bio-Based Lubricants with Particle Additives
Authors: Carlton J. Reeves, Pradeep L. Menezes, Michael R. Lovell and Tien-Chien Jen
Affiliations: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211, USA; Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211, USA
Abstract: In the present investigation, a pin-on-disk apparatus was used to study the effects of particle size and surface roughness on the tribological performance of bio-based lubricants containing particulate additives. In the experiments, copper pins were slid against aluminum disks of different surface roughnesses in the presence of canola oil containing nano-, submicron-, and micron-sized hexagonal boron nitride particulate additives. Results showed that for rough surfaces, the tribological performance increases when larger particles are used in the lubricants and vise-versa for smooth surfaces. The improved tribological performance is attributed to the size effect of the particles and the transfer film formation.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: The Relevance of Ambient Dynamic Mechanical Parameters to Sliding Friction Experiment
Authors: J. I. Łubiński* and K. Druet*
Affiliations: Gdansk University of Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Abstract: Sliding friction is omnipresent in technology. When it occurs in mechanisms at non – hydrodynamic regime it is typical for engineers, at a design stage, to resort to the use of the friction coefficient as a design parameter. Despite the concept’s long history and much research, the accuracy of prediction of mechanisms’ performance is limited in that respect. In the paper ideas are discussed for a possible improvement in understanding and description of macroscopic interaction between surfaces in relative motion by incorporating some dynamical analysis of the tribometer into the scope of the experiment on sliding friction.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Frictional Behaviour of Silicone Elastomers
Authors: James Bowen 1, James W Andrews 1, David Cheneler 2, Michael J Adams 1
Affiliations: 1 School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
2 Department of Engineering, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4YR, UK
Abstract: The adhesive and frictional properties of contacts between stainless steel and cross-linked silicone elastomer have been studied. Their frictional performance under compressive loads in the range 2-300 mN, at velocities in the range 10-1,000 μm/s are assessed. The adhesive properties are measured as a function of compressive load, dwell time, and retract velocity. The results suggest that increasing the contact pressure causes a change in the behaviour of such elastomers possibly by the transport of low molecular weight chains to the interface. The effect is analogous to the so-called internal lubrication of glassy polymers. The results are described by a number of closed-form expressions derived from a semi-empirical basis.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Friction force oscillations in the pin-on-disc configuration
Author: Tadeusz Adam Stolarski
Affiliation: School of Engineering and Design, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, UK
Abstract: Friction force oscillations occurring in a pin-on-disc configuration, widely used to test tribological properties of engineering materials, have been experimentally observed. It is argued that these oscillations are not an artefact of a particular design of the pin-on-disc apparatus but result from the nature of motion within the region of contact between the pin and the disc. Moreover, it is postulated that the shape and the rotation of the contact area about its geometric centre additionally amplify friction oscillations. The paper is an attempt to provide a rational explanation at the fundamental level for friction force fluctuations in the pin-on-disc configuration. It is based on the analysis of motion within the contact region.

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