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Entropy 2010, 12(6), 1345-1390; doi:10.3390/e12061345

Entropy in Tribology: in the Search for Applications

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201, USA
Received: 30 March 2010 / Revised: 26 April 2010 / Accepted: 8 May 2010 / Published: 28 May 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entropy and Friction Volume 2)
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The paper discusses the concept of entropy as applied to friction and wear. Friction and wear are classical examples of irreversible dissipative processes, and it is widely recognized that entropy generation is their important quantitative measure. On the other hand, the use of thermodynamic methods in tribology remains controversial and questions about the practical usefulness of these methods are often asked. A significant part of entropic tribological research was conducted in Russia since the 1970s. Surprisingly, many of these studies are not available in English and still not well known in the West. The paper reviews various views on the role of entropy and self-organization in tribology and it discusses modern approaches to wear and friction, which use the thermodynamic entropic method as well as the application of the mathematical concept of entropy to the dynamic friction effects (e.g., the running-in transient process, stick-slip motion, etc.) and a possible connection between the thermodynamic and information approach. The paper also discusses non-equilibrium thermodynamic approach to friction, wear, and self-healing. In general, the objective of this paper is to answer the frequently asked question “is there any practical application of the thermodynamics in the study of friction and wear?” and to show that the thermodynamic methods have potential for both fundamental study of friction and wear and for the development of new (e.g., self-lubricating) materials.
Keywords: friction; entropy; non-equilibrium thermodynamics; composite materials friction; entropy; non-equilibrium thermodynamics; composite materials
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Nosonovsky, M. Entropy in Tribology: in the Search for Applications. Entropy 2010, 12, 1345-1390.

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