Shell and Beijing’s Tsinghua University join forces to undertake new lubricant research
Dec 20, 2011
Shell Lubricants has announced a two-year research and development partnership with State Key Laboratory of Tribology in Tsinghua University, one of China’s most prestigious institutions. The partnership will focus on work to deepen the understanding of lubrication on textured surfaces.
The partnership will generate data which can be used to create innovative solutions for Shell Lubricants’ original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers and develop research in key areas fundamental to the advancement of lubrication science.
The partnership will give Tsinghua University access to Shell’s global lubrication technology expertise based in Shell technology centres in the UK, Germany, the USA and China, and will give Shell the opportunity to work closely with world class lubricant scientists and tribologists to create innovative solutions that could be beneficial to Shell customers.
Cheng Chen, Shell Global Solutions (US) Inc. scientist for industrial products, said: “We are very pleased to be partnering with Tsinghua University, which is renowned for its excellent research heritage and top-of-the-range facilities. Creating technical edges and competitive solutions for our customers is at the heart of our business, and as such, we hope that working with the team at Tsinghua will deliver some key insights that will enhance our understanding of textured surface lubrication and help us to continue providing and developing innovative solutions for our customers.”
Professor Meng Yonggang of Tsinghua University said: “As a top university in China, we are pleased to partner with Shell, a global company with vast industry experience and years of working in the lubrication industry. We look forward to leveraging the technological expertise from both sides to create innovative solutions for the industry.”
The State Key Laboratory of Tribology boasts some of the world’s most advanced resources and research specialisations, such as laser etching techniques. The laboratory’s research will focus specifically on the ‘deliberate texturing’ of surfaces in applications with moving parts.
The aim will be to reduce friction and enhance surface protection, by using advanced, specialised laser-focused ion beams and photolithography techniques to create various shaped “dimples” on surfaces with diameters in the range of 50-200 microns, and depths of 2-10 microns. This is a highly specialised scientific process which not all research facilities have the capabilities to perform, thus making this partnership very valuable.
Earlier this year, Shell opened its first Lubricants Technical Service Centre (TSC) in Zhuhai, China. The TSC is the latest addition to Shell’s global technology centre network, which brings together teams of world-class scientists and engineers, many of whom are leaders in their respective fields. Key Shell customers and automotive OEMs already benefit extensively from the technical research, training and marketing services that are developed in these centres.
Shell Lubricants has been ranked the world’s leading lubricants suppliers for the fifth year running this year, according to a survey on the global lubricants market. The annual research, conducted by Kline & Company, gives Shell more than 13% of the market by volume in 2010 and a 2% lead over its nearest competitor.
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About Shell Lubricants
- The term “Shell Lubricants” collectively refers to Shell Group companies engaged in the lubricants business. They manufacture and blend products for use in a range of applications, from consumer motoring to mining and power generation to commercial transport. Shell’s portfolio of lubricant brands includes Pennzoil®, Quaker State®, Shell Rotella, Shell Helix, Shell Advance, Shell Rimula, Shell Tellus, Monarch, and Jiffy Lube®. Shell has leading lubricants research centres in Germany, Japan (joint venture with Showa Shell), UK, and the USA.
- Our products are manufactured and marketed in more countries than any other lubricants supplier’s, enabling us to supply to our largest customers. We are expanding rapidly into emerging markets while continuing to seek growth in our heartland markets.
- In 2002, Shell acquired Pennzoil-Quaker State Company to become the No. 1 lubricants marketer in the USA. Pennzoil motor oil has been one of the leading motor oil brands in the USA since 1985.
- In 2006, Shell acquired a 75% share in Tongyi, which is China’s leading independent lubricant manufacturer.
- We focus on developing products and services that provide both superior protection and efficiency. Today Shell is the leading international lubricants supplier in China and has the third largest share of China’s rapidly growing market.
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