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Friction reduction in EHL contacts by surface microtexturing – tribological performance, manufacturing and tailored design

Stephan Tremmel (Institute of Engineering Design KTmfk, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany)
Max Marian (Institute of Engineering Design, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany)
Michael Zahner (Department of Manufacturing Technology, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany)
Sandro Wartzack (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany)
Marion Merklein (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany)

Industrial Lubrication and Tribology

ISSN: 0036-8792

Article publication date: 26 November 2018

Issue publication date: 22 October 2019



This paper aims to derive tailor-made microtextures for elastohydrodynamically lubricated (EHL) contacts under consideration of manufacturing possibilities.


Component tests were used for the evaluation of the influence of surface texturing on the friction behavior in the cam/tappet contact. Furthermore, the manufacturing possibilities and limitations of a combined μEDM and micro-coining process and the feasibility of integration into a forming process were studied. Finally, a methodology based on transient EHL simulations and a meta-model of optimal prognosis was exemplarily used for microtexture optimization.


It was found that surface texturing in EHL contacts with high amount of sliding is promising. Moreover, the combination of μEDM and micro coining and the integration into established production processes allow the manufacturing of microtextures with desirable structural parameters and sufficient accuracy.


This paper gives a holistic view on surface microtexturing over several phases of the product life cycle, from the design, over efficient manufacturing to application-related testing.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of project ME-2043/26-2 and WA-2913/3-2 within the Priority Program 1551, “Resource Efficient Design Elements”, by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Author contributions: The experimental work and data analysis of the tribological component tests (Section 2) was carried out by Max Marian. The test specimens were manufactured by Michael Zahner. Michael Zahner also conceived, designed, performed and analyzed the experiments on microtexture manufacturing (Section 3). Max Marian performed and analyzed the numerical studies on microtexture optimization (Section 4). Stephan Tremmel, Sandro Wartzack and Marion Merklein contributed reagents/materials and analysis tools. All authors wrote the contribution.

Conflicts of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.


Tremmel, S., Marian, M., Zahner, M., Wartzack, S. and Merklein, M. (2019), "Friction reduction in EHL contacts by surface microtexturing – tribological performance, manufacturing and tailored design", Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, Vol. 71 No. 8, pp. 986-990.



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