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October 12, 2016

Volume 17 Issue 52

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Bill Calls on U.S. to Support Tribology

An Ohio congressman introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives that calls tribology critical to the U.S. economy and urges the federal government to support innovation in the field.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) introduced the legislation – H. Res 916 – on Sept. 28 to the House, which referred it to the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, a first step toward becoming law. Ryan co-founded the House Manufacturing Caucus to examine and promote policies to help expand American manufacturing.

“The caucus works to highlight the vital role American manufacturing plays in the U.S. economy, as well as to educate members and their staff on ways Congress can work to ensure that America remains the global leader in manufacturing,” he told Lube Report in an emailed statement. “Tribology and lubrication technology plays a direct and significant role in these efforts.”

Tribology is the study of friction, wear and lubrication and the science of interacting surfaces in relative motion.

Ryan said he introduced the legislation to emphasize the massive impact tribology has on the U.S. economy and how it can help provide solutions to critical technical problems in American manufacturing. “It can help improve energy production and use, transportation vehicles and infrastructure, greenhouse emissions, defense and homeland security, health care, mining safety and reliability and space exploration, among others,” he said, adding that the resolution also seeks to highlight the need for increased R&D investments in tribology and related fields.”

The resolution states that “approximately a third of the world’s primary energy consumption is attributed to friction, and about 70 percent of equipment failures are blamed on lubrication breakdown and wear loss.” It also says that solid lubricants and biodegradable and synthetic lubricants development from fundamental research are critical to a more sustainable future.

The resolution concludes by resolving that the House of Representatives:

  • encourage federal agencies to develop and implement projects related to tribology;
  • encourage formation of public-private partnerships to advance fundamental research and accelerate the development of tribology-related products and technologies;
  • recognize the need for increased research and development investments in tribology and related fields;
  • Encourage the National Academy of Engineering to conduct a comprehensive survey of the status of research and development in academia and governmental laboratories and recommend a course of action to accelerate innovations in tribology.

Ryan noted that “studies show that finding ways to minimize friction and wear through new technologies in tribology can have an enormous impact on the economy, amounting to nearly $400 billion annually in the U.S. and up to $2 trillion globally.”

Michael Zetts, Ryan’s communications director, told Lube Report, “Congressman Ryan will be continuing to push for more members of Congress to endorse this legislation, the committee to hold a hearing, and ultimately for this bill to become law. We are at the beginning of the process, but Congressman Ryan will be working hard to get it across the finish line.”

The full text of House Resolution 916 may be viewed on the congress.gov web site at this link.