Tom's research focusses on various aspects of lubrication. These include:
- Explored self-replenishing lubrication techniques for Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS).
- Showed that high-sliding MEMS can operate for extended periods with low friction and minimal wear when lubricated by additive-containing low viscosity liquids.
- Currently working on an EPSRC project implementing liquid lubrication in a micro-turbine energy harvester.
- Developed infrared microscopy to map the temperature of sliding surfaces within high pressure contacts, thus providing data to validate models that predict friction in bearings and gears.
- Used infrared emission to probe automatic clutch contacts.
- Investigated the deformation behaviour of debris particles passing between bearing surfaces.
- Currently extending the technique to measure asperity contact temperatures.
LASER INDUCED FLUORESCENCE
- Developed laser induced fluorescence (LIF) to map fluid flow through an elastohydrodynamic contact.
- Applied LIF to measure oil film thickness in highly compliant contacts, where most other techniques fail.
- Used fluorescence to help understand the lubricating properties of oil-water emulsions used in cold rolling steel mills.
- Applied ultrasound to monitor the lubricating fluid films within bearings and seals (during PhD at The University of Sheffield).
- Developed ultrasonic technique, through collaboration with bearing manufacturers (SKF and Kingsbury), from a lab-based test into a practically-useful industrial tool.
In addition to these, he is currently running projects on boundary film formation, surface texture in EHL contacts, and the frictional behaviour of viscoelastic materials (including friction induced vibration).
Current Research Sponsorship