Controlling friction and wear is crucial for many engineering systems. This field of study is known as ‘tribology’ (read more about the importance of tribology here). To improve the tribology testing capability within the institute of Functional Surfaces (iFS) at the University of Leeds, ReSolve were commissioned to overhaul the existing tribology research laboratory equipment. The aim of the upgrade was to improve the reliability, flexibility and autonomy of their tribology test equipment.
We carried out system upgrades on testing rigs replicating reciprocating, sliding and engine piston-cylinder contact conditions. The individual requirements for each of the current testing rigs were identified and suitable instrumentation, power electronics, software and mechanical hardware upgrades were defined. To improve user experience and consistency, a standardised software testing platform was developed and integrated across all rigs. This reduced integration time allowed flexible integration of rig-specific sensors and control systems. Configurable test profiling data saving and processing protocols were employed, giving the user flexibility to meet their specific research needs while maintaining the generality of the equipment.