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Tribologists at OELCHECK

Year of publication: 2023

OELCHECK tribologists evaluate and report on the results of their lubricant and operating fluid analyses. But what is a tribologist, exactly? And what specific knowledge do OELCHECK tribologists need to have to do their job?


The multidisciplinary science of tribology – known as lubrication technology until 1970 – is a branch of mechanical engineering in which everything revolves around friction, wear and lubrication. As such, OELCHECK tribologists and lubrication technicians not only have extensive specialist knowledge of the materials used to build machines and engines, but they also understand the relationships of lubricants from a physics and chemistry perspective. As builders of machines, they are also familiar with a wide range of production processes and the systems used, as well as their special operating conditions.

The term ’tribology’ is derived from the Greek and means ’knowledge of friction’. Lubricants are used to reduce friction and the resulting wear. However, lubricants play more roles than simply protecting the contact surfaces and ensuring they are as low-friction and wear-resistant as possible. Friction, wear and lubrication are inseparably linked. Based on their experience in practice, the Egyptians used water, animal fats and olive oil as lubricants when building the pyramids. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) is regarded as the founder of modern tribology and defined the laws of dry friction – and therefore the laws of friction.

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