TMM4205 - Tribology and Surface Technology


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: School exam
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
School exam 100/100 4 hours D

Course content

Tribology is the science of interacting surfaces in relative motion. This course deals with the most central topics within surface protection and tribology. Road transport is responsible for 22% of Europe’s CO2 emissions, and one of the biggest challenges for reducing CO2 emissions. About 1/3 of the energy used in transportation is lost due to friction. In addition, most developed countries face very high costs related to wear and corrosion problems in infrastructure and operations. These costs can represent between 3 and 5% of their gross national product (GNP). This is money that could be used for welfare. In this course, you will learn how to mitigate the main degradation processes of materials contributing to environmental and economical problems worldwide. You will also learn environmental solutions for coping with friction, wear, corrosion and lubrication.

Corrosion, wear and friction are central mechanisms for damaging a surface and thereby the integrity of a structure or a component. The course deals with basic tribological mechanisms of component and construction failure. The knowledge gained in this course will help you in understanding how to achieve desired lifetime of a component or construction by application of basic tribological calculations (surface roughness, friction and lubrication), coatings, surface modification, wear phenomena and lubricants. The goal of the course is to give the students knowledge and skills for meeting the needs of the industry in their future professional careers.

Learning outcome


  • phenomena happening when two surfaces come together into contact (friction, wear, elastic/plastic deformation, surface roughness).
  • the most important surface degradation mechanisms (corrosion and wear).
  • implications of surface degradation mechanisms for materials lifetime.
  • the most important types of coatings and surface modifications for protection of surfaces against corrosion and wear.
  • selection of surface treatments/coatings according to surface degradation mechanisms.
  • selection of lubricants and lubrication processes according to system function.


  • prepare a requirement specification for modification of a surface with the aim to avoid surface degradation or achieve the required surface finish.
  • select the most optimal solution including description of requirement to surface preparation, application and pre-treatment.
  • Understand the causes for surface failure when relative motion has been involved in a system.
  • Understand the causes for surface failure when lubrication has been used in a system.
  • Propose materials solutions for controlling wear and friction.

General competence:

  • Understand how to chose surface protection depending on the environment where the construction/component is exposed, visual appearance, desired lifetime and other properties.
  • Understand what tribology is, including what parameters that affect the tribological properties of a surface and how these can be improved.
  • Testing and inspection methods and economical aspects of coating technologies.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures, teamwork, quizzes and demonstrations. Parts of the course may use a flipped classroom model. Students need a number of approved calculation and research exercises to access examination. The lectures and exercises are in English. The examination papers will be given in English only. Students are free to choose Norwegian or English for answering the exam.

Compulsory assignments

  • Exercises

Further on evaluation

Some lectures in this course will use quizzes as learning tool. The quizzes are optional, but if the students deliver the answers extra points will be given and will be added to the final grade.

If there is a re-sit examination, the examination form may be changed from written to oral. For a re-take of an examination, all exercises and deliveries during the course must be approved/passed.

Course materials

Lecture notes (power point presentations), some research papers, documents uploaded in blackboard, videos, voluntary exercises and quizzes. Book: Engineering Tribology, Authors: Stachowiak, Batchelor. From

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
MM8405 4.0 AUTUMN 2024
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2025

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Machine Design and Materials Technology - Materials Production Processes
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Machine Design and Materials Technology
  • Materials Technology and Electrochemistry
  • Nanotechnology
  • Technological subjects


Examination arrangement: School exam

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD School exam 100/100 D PAPIR
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS School exam 100/100 D PAPIR
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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