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Excellence Center of Tribology

Programm / Ausschreibung COMET, K2, 2. Ausschreibung 2014 - 2. Förderperiode Status abgeschlossen
Projektstart 01.04.2015 Projektende 31.03.2020
Zeitraum 2015 - 2020 Projektlaufzeit 60 Monate
Keywords Tribologie, Schmierstoff, Simulation, Oberflächentechnologie, Tribodiagnostics


The COMET K2 Centre of Excellence for Tribology (XTribology) has been established and well developed during the first funding period as planned. Close collaborations with a number of national and international scientific partners, selected in view of thematic synergies, are important cornerstones. Scientific knowledge, especially from physics, chemistry, material science, mechanics, electronics and information technology, is integrated in our research work based on our holistic understanding of the fundamentals of tribology as a highly interdisciplinary field.
Project topics and goals as well as the research activity have been concentrated in the four areas: Lubricants and Surface Interactions (Area 1), Wear Processes (Area 2), Integrated Tribodiagnostics and -design (Area 3) and Multiscale Computational Tribology (Area 4). Fortunately, the development of Area 2 took place faster than expected. Due to the fact that a considerable part of the scientific work in Area 4, viz. simulation and modelling, has been integrated as work packages into projects of other Research Areas to optimise the holistic performance of XTribology, one could erroneously estimate Area 4 to have developed slower.
The XTribology funding period was started in April 2010 to harmonise the period with the Centre’s business year. The monetary public funding of XTribology is 50 % of the budget.
The approved total financial volume will not be reached in the 5 year period due to several reasons. Based on the turnover during the first four years, a total XTribology budget of approx. € 47 million is expected.
The Centre – as of 30th June 2014 – has 142 employees (approx. 115 FTE; which corresponds to the lower XTribology turnover), with approx. 30 % of the staff members from an international background. In January 2012, the Centre doubled the rented office and laboratory space at the “Research and Technology Center Wiener Neustadt” to approx. 4000 square metres. Important equipment purchases to perform the research projects were realised within the XTribology budget as well as within the non-K budget during the last four years. Selected examples are a high-performance computer cluster (which has probably one of the highest capacities in the region), a robotised high-power direct diode laser-coating system, a high-temperature sheet metal forming test rig, as well as a coupled advanced mass spectrometry-gas chromatography system.
This Centre is supported by the provinces of Niederösterreich, Vorarlberg and Wien, as well as by a high number of partners who are active in the research projects. The participation of new national and international company partners as well many long-term partnerships within XTribology show the importance of tribology for the economy and the success of the Centre.
The Centre’s organisation and management show long-term stability, with only minor changes and low fluctuation. All the XTribology boards operated consensually. Our achievements indicate that the XTribology target values will be reached as planned by the end of the 1st funding period. The collaboration with renowned international partners and the research results have led to an appreciable increase in the internationalisation and international visibility. Thus, the Centre helps strengthen Austria and Europe as a place of research, development and production.