Tribology and Surface Engineering Laboratory

The Tribology and Surface Engineering Laboratory at AUT is a multidisciplinary lab conducting research in different aspects of tribology. It is the first research lab of its kind in New Zealand.

We have an extensive range of industrial expertise on tribology-related problems that can be provided to New Zealand industry through joint projects, consultancy and problem-solving services.

Tribology: key role in modern and future technology

Tribology plays an important role in almost all aspects of modern technology where one material slides or rubs over another and tribological performance is a crucial factor for engineering design. It is immensely important to the successful operation of engineered machines and natural mechanisms of all scales, and demands multifunctional surfaces.

Tribology is core to future transport and energy-efficient machines, the control of emissions and low-maintenance renewable energy systems, and to biomedical applications. In order to develop advanced components for these applications, it is necessary to understand and control basic friction, wear, and lubrication processes at the sliding interface.


The lab is equipped with a range of modern test instruments for tribological and mechanical characterisation. Capabilities range from evaluation for lubricants, fuels and additives to unique friction, wear and tribo-corrosion testing capabilities for advanced materials and surface coatings, specialised tribometers for high temperature testing as well as testing in special environments.

  • Linear reciprocating tribometer (high temperature testing up to 600°C, high sliding speed)
  • Rotary tribometer (high temperature testing up to 800°C, humidity control)
  • Block on ring tribometer
  • Rheometer
  • Electro-chemical corrosion set-up
  • Tribo-corrosion test set-up
  • Micro-scratch tester
  • Macro and micro-indentation testers
  • 3D optical profilometer
  • Stylus profilometer
  • Scanning electron microscope
  • Energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy
  • Atomic force microscope
  • Servo-hydraulic testing machine
  • High temperature tensile testing machine

Research projects

We welcome enquiries about undergraduate and postgraduate project availability in our lab, and we can sometimes accommodate interns for short-term projects.

Current projects

  • Design and testing of load-bearing orthopaedic implants
  • Manufacturing and testing of artificial cartilage for osteoarthritis patients
  • Tribo-corrosion and fatigue of dental implants
  • Mechanical and tribological characterisation of metals manufactured by powder bed fusion techniques (selective laser melting, electron beam melting, …)
  • Wear resistance of superelastic NiTi bearings
  • Design, testing and modelling of friction sliding damage-avoidance connections
  • Investigation of wear resistance and load carrying capacity of lubricants
  • Characterisation of environmentally friendly lubricants
  • Analysis of coating systems
  • Modelling of friction in metal forming processes
  • Tribology of composite materials
  • Tribology of wind turbines
  • Influence of lubricants on rolling/sliding contact fatigue
  • Reduction of friction by surface texturing
  • Tribology of advanced ceramic materials at elevated temperatures


To find out more about our current research projects, check out our recent publications:

Working with us

If you are interested in establishing a partnership or collaboration with the AUT Tribology and Surface Engineering Laboratory, please contact us. We welcome researchers outside AUT to use our lab facilities.

We have connections and partnerships with people across New Zealand and around the world.

Currently, we are collaborating with:

  • Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, USA
  • Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution, Texas A&M University, USA
  • Department of Materials and Mechanical Engineering, Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain
  • Institute for Metal Forming Technology, University of Stuttgart, Germany
Tribology and Surface engineering lab and facilties
Tribology and Surface engineering lab and facilties
Tribology and Surface engineering lab and facilties
Tribology and Surface engineering lab and facilties

Contact us

Dr Maziar Ramezani
Founder and director

WS 307B – 34 St Paul Street
Auckland University of Technology
Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Phone: +64 9 921 9999  ext 6946

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