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It all started with a small wooden bearing.


What is Tribology?

What is Tribology?

Tribology refers to the science and technology concerning all phenomena that occur between two surfaces affecting each other through relative motion, including the friction, wear, and lubrication that form the core of Oiles, as well as related materials, design, and other things. The word tribology comes from the Greek tribos, meaning rubbing,
and “ology,” meaning the study of something.
In the case of plain bearings, it focuses on the contacting surfaces between two solid objects: the shaft and the bearing. However, as it is impossible to directly observe what is happening between surfaces that are in actual contact, the only approach that can be taken is to inspect the before and after of surfaces in contact and try to picture what is happening. Modeling the phenomena happening here scientifically and quantitatively using a range of verification experiments and analyses is essential when it comes to researching tribology.

Oiles Tribology Technology

Oiles tribology technology comprises the following three core technologies.

  • Friction:
A phenomenon that happens between two objects in contact with each other and between which relative motion is occurring or attempting to occur.
  • Wear:
A gradual reduction in the surface of one or both of two materials in contact with each other and between which relative motion is occurring (gradual loss)
  • Lubrication:
A method for reducing friction and wear between two objects rubbing against each other is introducing a lubricant such as oil or a solid lubricant.

Whenever a shaft and bearing come into contact, friction occurs when the shaft moves, and the potential for wear is always present. As with objects around us in daily life, the surface of shafts and bearings is not flat, and there are surfaces that come into contact and those that do not. Wear occurs between surfaces where there is even the slightest contact. Generally, friction and wear tend to be considered as things that need to be reduced , but in fact, our tribology technology involves a variety of approaches to achieve reasonable friction and wear. In concrete terms, we have a record of approaching the issue from a range of perspectives and with a range of ideas, such as making a product self-lubricating, applying the optimum lubricant, or utilizing friction resistance to create the optimum feel, and these form the source of our tribology technology.

Tribology and Oiles Bearings

Oiles Bearing Products

Oiles Bearings are plain bearings that require no lubrication or a reduced frequency and amount of lubrication, and are unique products that differ from standard plain bearings.
A great many components exist that rotate or move back and forth, generating friction and causing wear, including the components in automobiles and machinery. If the loss caused by this friction and wear is significant, it can lead to the need to replace machinery and components and energy loss. This results in a shortened product lifespan, increased energy use, and a great impact on the environment. With the tribology technology we have built up over 70 years and our unique ideas, Oiles has come to possess the technology to deal exceptionally well with friction and wear. Reducing friction and wear means we can link this to reduced energy consumption and environmental impact, which means Oiles Bearings can contribute significantly behind the scenes to abundance in our society and daily life.

Seismic Isolators and Vibration Control Devices

Oiles Seismic Isolators and Vibration Control Devices

The history of Oiles Bearings technology started with its application in bearings for railway bridges (components positioned between the upper and lower parts of bridges to transfer load). Oiles Bearings were used in Japan’s first long-span suspension bridge, which provided the spur for coming up with the idea to support bridge beams with sliding technology, and this has since evolved into the seismic isolators and vibration control devices of today. By adding our unique ideas to the tribology that lies at the core of our technology and pursuing technology to provide superb friction performance and load-bearing capacity, Oiles firmly established the foundations for damping technology to control vibration. And by combining tribology with damping technology, we provide behind-the-scenes support for buildings and bridges through seismic isolators and vibration control devices that bring safety and security to society.