Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Space Tribology with Brandon Krick

As you may have guessed, space tribology is the application of tribology and lubrication principles in the space environment. The field addresses the reliable performance of machines in space, including satellites, spacecraft, and even the International Space Station (ISS). These instruments and structures require lubrication and it is a challenge to create lubricants that can handle this extreme environment.

Brandon Krick, a Ph.D. student who attends and works at the Tribology Lab at the University of Florida discusses space tribology and MISSE7, or the Materials on the International Space Station Experiments, 7th Mission. He was involved in the development and implementation of the MISSE7 and will handle the analysis of the experiments upon conclusion. He is shown here with one of the tribometers.

This experiment is being conducted with NASA's help, and addresses the use of solid lubricants in low earth orbit. The experiment is a test bed for materials and coatings attached to the outside of the ISS being evaluated for the effects of the space environment. The results of this experiment will provide a better understanding of the durability of various materials, thus providing information for applications in the design of future spacecraft. For more on the experiment and space tribology, you can download this week's episode, read the transcript, or listen directly from the slider bar above.

For more information on space tribology, MISSE7, Brandon, or his graduate advisor, Dr. Gregory Sawyer, you can visit our website, the University of Florida's Tribology Laboratory website, or NASA's page on MISSE7. You can also read the TLT article, "History's Ultimate Lube Job."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What is "Green"? with Dr. Neil Canter

In this episode, we talk to Dr. Neil Canter, who runs his own consulting company, Chemical Solutions. Dr. Canter discusses his feature article in the latest issue of Tribology & Lubrication Technology.

There has been a struggle to define the words "green" and "sustainable" and there is no commonly agreed upon definition. Dr. Canter presents a definition and his argument for that definition. Instead of looking at a lubricant at the cradle and the grave, he argues for a look at the application and use of a lubricant, and labeling a lubricant "green" by what happens in process.

Find out more by clicking play on the slider bar, by downloading the episode, or by reading the transcript. Make sure you read the article, "What is 'Green?'" in this month's TLT magazine, which is available both in print and online. Peruse the digital version of TLT, which contains other articles and perspectives on what it means to be "green." You can visit our website for more news and information on the subject.

You can also learn more about the subject by attending the 2011 STLE Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Canter is the Vice Chair of a full-day education course discussing bio-based lubricants and bio-based fuels. You can view the course synopsis for more information on the topics and format of the course on our webiste.