Project Title: Multi-scale Modelling of Hydrodynamic Lubrication and Friction

Supervisors: Dr. Daniele Dini , Dr. Edward Smith, Prof. David Heyes

Project description:

The field of nanotribology has (to date) remained slightly detached from mainstream macro-scale tribology, focusing primarily on specialized nano-scale applications. At the macro- and mesoscopic levels, continuum models are often able to correctly model fluids. However, at smaller scales, continuum models do not consider the atomic nature of matter and can sometimes fail to capture the essential physics. In such cases, explicit molecular models must be employed, for example to model a liquid-solid interface.

The development of a truly multi-scale approach, which spans nano- to macro-scales, is a decisive step forward in understanding engineering tribological interfaces.  Hybrid methods [1], where atomistic simulations such as molecular dynamics (MD) and continuum computational fluid dynamics(CFD) inter-operate [2], offer a solution that combines the strengths of both paradigms.

The aim of this project is to model contact-lubrication problems with a multi-scale simulation methodology taking advantage of an in-house coupling software (CPL_library [3]) that has been developed in the group in the past years.


[1] K. M. Mohamed and a. a. Mohamad, “A review of the development of hybrid

atomistic-continuum methods for dense fluids,” Microfluidics and Nanofluidics,

vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 283–302, 2010

[2] S. T. O’Connell and P. A. Thompson, “Molecular dynamics-continuum hybrid com-

putations: A tool for studying complex fluid flows,” Phys. Rev. E, vol. 52, no. 6,

pp. R5792-R5795, 1995.