11. December 2014 | Research & Development

Tribology at ITA

The development of textiles and machinery components with the help of tribological research at the Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University has a long tradition. It is a 50-year old tradition to be precise. Tribology is a field of expertise for the optimization of mechanical components by reducing friction and wear. This is, for example, for thread guides of machinery for the textile industry of importance. Through this research, the manufacturing of textile products could be improved and made it partially cheaper. In addition, the necessary conditions have been created to process technical textiles such as glass or carbon fiber and allowed developments used in the Formula1.

The first investigations of tribological interactions started at ITA in 1964 with Professor Wegener. He among others laid the foundation for the systematic study of tribological systems in textile technology. His work was continued in 1971 by Professor Lünenschloss and extended by examining the correlation of ceramics and textiles. This pioneering work in the field of tribology established the basis for today's tribological knowledge provided at ITA. The research in this field has since successfully continued by doctoral students and institute directors. Even the current institute director Professor Thomas Gries wrote his thesis at ITA in 1989 in the field of tribology and received his PhD in 1995, also in this area.

Tribological research and development work is pursued since now half a century at ITA. Classifications, testing methods and equipment have been developed during this period at ITA. In addition, acquired knowledge in the field of tribology was incorporated into the research in production of yarn and processing. Currently, the focus of the tribological studies is material scientific approaches of component designs for machinery, similar to the research of former Professor Lünenschloss. Thus, the former research results are taken up and continued successfully with today's stage of development. The wheel does not always have to be reinvented to still achieve outstanding results in a period of rapid development.

Furthermore, the progressive developments of industrial yarns and textiles as well as their requirements for the manufacturing processes must be considered. The field of tribology research also continues for the next generation researchers and may yet hold many surprises, so that the processing of textiles continues to run "frictionless". But if we are honest, a little bit of friction has never hurt anyone.
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