Tribology - Cost savings and improved performance through optimisation of friction and wear

The greater the reduction in friction and wear in machines and equipment, the greater the saving in energy and the reduction in greenhouse emissions. Today, a fifth of all energy is used to overcome friction. Better managing of friction and wear can also result in significant improvement on the lifetime and performance of equipment and components.

Key facts

Easy and reliable

We can solve the most complex challenges relying on our multifield excellence and broad laboratory resources.

Unbiased and confidential

As an independent research organisation, VTT will always seek to find the best overall solution for each need. The results generated within customer projects are confidential.

Up-to-date research excellence

We continuously develop our competencies through co-operation with leading international universities and research organisations.

The ideal customer and application-specific solutions can be found using experimental research and comprehensive triboanalysis. In experimental research, we can utilise various levels of testing based on the need: from model tests simulating contacts to component tests and all the way to field tests simulating the actual application.

Our tribological solutions to increase material efficiency and wear control are based on nearly 40 years of experience in experimental tribology.

Our focus areas include

  • optimisation of friction and wear
  • material tribology
  • failure analysis
  • lubrication, bearings, gearwheels and other machine parts
  • tribocorrosion
  • rock tribology
  • vehicle tribology
  • experimental research in combination with modelling

Tribology research facilities

We carry out our experimental friction and wear research in a temperature- and humidity-controlled laboratory environment, with special emphasis on reliability and repeatability of measurements. We use both commercial and VTT-designed tribological test devices such as the following:

  • Pin-on-disc tribometers
  • Twin disc tribometer
  • Rec-tester
  • Static friction tribometer
  • Piston ring tribometer
  • Ball cratering tester
  • Rubber wheel tester
  • Slurry pot erosion tester
  • Gear and bearing wear test rig
  • Bearing test rigs (journal bearing, rolling-element bearing)

In addition, we can perform various other types of characterisation and analysis including profilometry, microscopy, SEM/EDS, AFM, micro-scratch testing and nanoindentation.

VTT is a member of the PerforMat partnership network

PerforMat is an ambitious initiative to advance Materials Genome Initiative in Finland. It focuses on advanced materials, targeting their optimis,ed use and performance as a part of engineering systems crucial for Finnish export.

Up-to-date research excellence and international networks

We continuously develop our competencies through co-operation with the leading international universities and research organisations. VTT participates extensively in international tribology research projects, such as the EU-funded projects i-TRIBOMAT and INNTERESTING.

For further information, see:



Mika Malkamäki

Mika Malkamäki

Solution Sales Lead
Research expertise