Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Tribology Testing

Tribology combines the science and engineering of interacting surfaces in relative motion with the study of friction, wear and lubrication. Tribology is everywhere. It is used in the automotive, aerospace, cosmetic and manufacturing industries to test, improve and evaluate any and all liquid or viscous substances.

Recognized worldwide as a leader in fuels and lubricants research, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has an extensively equipped tribology research facility. The tribology group combines world-class expertise from across the institute’s nine technical divisions to offer testing services, test rig design, consultancy, teaching and training, and failure analysis in a variety of tribology fields from deep sea to deep space.

SwRI has over 2,200 square feet dedication to tribology laboratories including discreet rooms that allow for confidential testing and rig development. Our in-house machine shop allows for machining test parts and client-supplied components. Additionally, many of our test rigs are unique to SwRI, having been created at the Institute by SwRI researchers.

Tribology Testing and Research and Development Services

Advantages of Tribology Testing at SwRI

  • In-house designed tribotest rigs that use real components allow for in-depth studies that cannot be achieved elsewhere
  • Bench-top tests are cost effective and permit screening of lubricants and components prior to full scale testing
  • Innovative testing principles and methodologies result in unique custom solutions for our clients


Watch the SwRI Tribology team in action.

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