In the topic of “programmable friction’, the cluster investigates the possibilities of controlling friction by external triggers. Thus, for example, during the operation of a clutch, an optimum friction value for the current operating state can be set autonomously. In contrast to the unique adaptation of the lubricant to the friction system as it is currently state-of-the-art, this would be an enormous advantage. This could significantly increase the efficiency and service life of the application. The vision of the thematic focus is to program friction systems in such a way that they are always operated in the optimum tribological state over the entire application parameters. In principle, high (force transmission) or low (lubrication) coefficients of friction or a variation of both (positioning) can be desired.
Special attention is given to new solution approaches that make friction properties controllable by an optically or electrostatically induced change. These external switches specifically influence the interfacial chemistry and thus the accumulation of molecules or interactions between the two interfaces, thus enabling the control of friction properties (Pict. 1a, b).