Congratulations to Jonathon and our collaborators Yong-Hoon Lee and James Allison (UIUC, ISE) on receiving a 2017 Journal of Mechanical Design Editors’ Choice Award – Honorable Mention.
The award was given in Quebec City, Canada, at the annual ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conference.
Our paper (DOI link) describes design optimization with viscous Newtonian fluids and arbitrary surface shapes for reducing friction in sliding contacts. The approach goes beyond simple textures considered in the literature (dimples, wedges, etc.) and instead considers an arbitrary continuous texture geometry represented using a two-dimensional cubic spline interpolation. This results in significant improvement in performance with the best designs, which are textures resembling a spiral blade.
The results have implications for thrust bearings, hydraulic systems, and anywhere that textured surfaces can be used to reduce friction and improve energy efficiency in engineered systems.