This paper, which forms part of a special issue of this journal marking a 25th year anniversary in tribology, aims to provide an appraisal of key issues in coating tribology over that period. Two main inter-related strands are emphasized. One is the continuing move down the length scale in terms of the fundamental understanding of tribological contacts. This has been particularly useful in aiding the development of new coatings by identifying their property requirements at different scale levels. A second strand relates to the ongoing imperative to be able to design and select coatings to meet practical friction and wear requirements. This selection problem requires a robust methodology, and one such is elaborated in the paper, which takes account of the requirements of different types of tribological contacts and uses a combination of theoretical and empirical information. Challenges still remain in this regard, and the paper seeks to provide a basis for further developments to improve coatings and to ensure their effective selection.
- friction and wear tests
- molecular tribology