What is tribology?
Tribology is the study of science and engineering of interacting surfaces in relative motion. It includes the study and application of the principles of friction, lubrication and wear. Tribology is a branch of mechanical engineering and materials science.

Tribology’s economic and commercial impact is vast. The science reduces energy use, lowers the cost of maintenance and replacement, develops new technology, and solves resource problems, such as the lack of clean water. Proper tribological procedures save an estimated 1.3% to 1.6% of a nation’s gross domestic product—a savings of hundreds of billions of dollars (U.S. currency) in larger countries. Virtually every nation has realized it cannot afford to overlook the economic, industrial, and commercial advantages of tribology. Consequently, tribology is a science that is constantly being advanced by thousands of researchers around the world. Lubrication engineering is the practical application of that science, generally in the development of lubricants and their proper usage and maintenance. 

What is STLE?  

STLE, one of the largest professional societies in the field, serves 15,000 industry professionals worldwide.

To advance the science of tribology and the practice of lubrication engineering in order to foster innovation, improve the performance of equipment and products, conserve resources and protect the environment.

Online webinars, education courses and professional certification programs offer opportunities for continuing education to enhance your career and create value for your company.


STLE organizes, supports, co-sponsors and hosts meetings to provide the tribology and lubrication communities an opportunity to network, exchange ideas and information.

Educating technical professionals to compete in the global business environment is STLE's core mission of serving as a trusted provider of education and a workforce development partner.

STEM programs, scholarships and student outreach programs are a cornerstone to communicating the value of tribology and lubrication engineering innovation to a global audience.

In the Spotlight


7th Annual STLE Corporate Member Profiles Issue (Posted Nov. 28, 2016)
Your guide to the lubricant industry's most innovative companies.
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Challenges in Formulating Industrial Gear Oils (Posted Nov. 28, 2016)
Our panel of eight industry experts analyzes base stocks, additives, formulation and where this technology is headed.
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Dr. Ali Erdemir The-Water-Energy-Tribology Nexus (Posted Nov. 28, 2016)
According to the United States Geological Society, about 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by water. Yet there is a global consensus that we may be deprived of this vital resource in a very short while.
Read More >


Registration open for STLE Metalworking Fluids Management Course
Get practical, in-depth knowledge and insight when you attend STLE's Metalworking Fluid Management Course, Feb. 21-23, 2017, in College, Park, GA. Reserve your spot and receive a comprehensive overview of the latest fluid management best practices and techniques to improve your metalworking operation.
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Introduction to Detergents
Dec. 8, 2016 | Noon-1 p.m. CDT

Detergents are widely used in lubricant formulations such as automotive and marine engine oils, gear oils and industrial lubricants. They play a key role in maintaining engine cleanliness, providing neutralization and in rust protection. In this webinar, typical detergents (sulfonates, salicylates and phenates) are introduced, including their structures, process chemistry, properties and performance.

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Tribology is now on the map in Congress 
(Posted Dec. 5, 2016)

A resolution recognizing the impact of tribology on the United States economy was recently introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives. 
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2017 STLE Annual Meeting Call for Papers 
(Posted Dec. 5, 2016)

STLE is still accepting abstracts on a wait list for the 2017 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA.  
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STLE Certification Exam Dates and Locations Announced
(Posted Dec. 5, 2016)

Eligible candidates can register to sit for one of STLE’s four technical certifications.
Learn More >

Upcoming Events

31st International Maintenance Conference
Bonita Springs, FL | Dec. 12-16

STLE Chicago Section Education Program
Lemont, IL | Jan. 18-19

2017 OilDoc Conference & Exhibition
Bavaria, Germany | Jan. 24-26

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