Friction-related failure is a negative phenomenon that significantly affects key industries, including transportation, mining, energy production, etc. The financial cost is estimated as several billions USD per year only for the US and includes repair, re-manufacturing of the failed parts and production delays. In this field, research at Empa was threefold.

  • First, get fundamental understanding of the tribo-pair interaction.

  • Second, develop new tribo-pair as well as texturing of surface to decrease friction and/or increase the lifetime of components.

  • Finally, develop new in situ and real-time monitoring systems to detect defects and predict the remaining lifetime for components and/or structural materials used in industry.


Selected projects

  • In-situ tribological wear measurement at high temperature (800°C) and high relative humidity (80%)

  • Tribological optimization increase in service components lifetime by laser surface texturing


Selected publications

  • Saeidi F., Taylor A.A., Meylan B., Hoffmann P., and Wasmer K., “Origin of Scuffing in Grey Cast Iron-Steel Tribo-System”, Materials and Design, Vol. 116, pp: 622-630, 2017,

  • Meylan B., Saeidi F., and Wasmer K., “Effect of Surface Texturing on Cast Iron Reciprocating Against Steel Under Cyclic Loading in Boundary and Mixed Lubrication Conditions”, Lubricants, Special Issue Improvement of Friction and Wear by Laser Surface Texturing, Vol. 6, Issue 1, paper ID: 2, 2018,

  • Meylan B., Ciani D., Zhang B., Cuche E., and Wasmer K., “A New Ball-On-Disk Vacuum Tribometer With In Situ Measurement of the Wear Track by Digital Holographic Microscopy”, Surface Topography: Metrology and Properties, Vol. 5, paper ID: 044004, 2017,

  • Saeidi F., Meylan B., Hoffmann P. and Wasmer K., “Effect of Surface Texturing on Cast Iron Reciprocating Against Steel Under Starved Lubrication Conditions: A Parametric Study”, Wear, Vol. 348-349, pp: 17-26, 2016,

  • Saeidi F., Shevchik S.A. and Wasmer K., “Automatic Detection of Scuffing Using Acoustic Emission”, Tribology International, Vol. 94, pp: 112-117, 2016,