Shell Lubricants Technology has formed a two-year partnership with Beijing’s Tsinghua University to undertake research and development of new lubricants.

The university’s State Key Laboratory of Tribology is one of China’s most prestigious institutions while Shell’s global lubrication technology expertise will allow scientists to create innovative new products.

The partnership’s focus will be to gain a better understanding of lubrication on textured surfaces and generate data for key areas fundamental to advancing lubrication science.

Scientists from Tsinghua University will have access to Shell’s technology centres in the UK, Germany, USA and China. In 2011 Shell opened the latest addition to its global technology centre network with the first Lubricants Technical Service Centre (TSC) in Zhuhai, China. The TSC brings together teams of world-class scientists and engineers, to work on technical research for automotive and original equipment manufacturer customers.

In turn, the university’s Tribology lab boasts some of the world’s most advanced resources and research specializations, such as laser etching techniques. The laboratory’s research will focus specifically on the ‘deliberate texturing’ of surfaces in applications with moving parts. Scientists will aim to reduce friction and enhance surface protection, by using advanced, specialized laser-focused ion beams and photolithography techniques.

The company says the win-win partnership may solve some of the lubrication problems experienced by its customers.

Shell Global Solutions’ industrial product scientist Cheng Chen says, “We are very pleased to be partnering with Tsinghua University, which is renowned for its excellent research heritage and top-of-the-range facilities. Creating technical edges and competitive solutions for our customers is at the heart of our business, and as such, we hope that working with the team at Tsinghua will deliver some key insights that will enhance our understanding of textured surface lubrication and help us to continue providing and developing innovative solutions for our customers.”

Tsinghua University Professor Meng Yonggang says, “As a top university in China, we are pleased to partner with Shell, a global company with vast industry experience and years of working in the lubrication industry. We look forward to leveraging the technological expertise from both sides to create innovative solutions for the industry.”

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