Mini Traction Machine (MTM2)

The MTM is a flexible general purpose instrument for measuring the frictional properties of lubricated and unlubricated contacts under a wide range of rolling and sliding conditions up to 3.1 GPa contact pressures and up to 75 N load.


The specimens, a steel ball and steel disc, are fitted to the instrument and a small sample of lubricant is added to the pot. The ball is loaded against the face of the disc, and the ball and disc are driven independently to create a mixed rolling/sliding contact. The frictional force between the two specimen is measured and recorded automatically throughout the test.


  • Compact bench top and fully automated

  • Independently driven specimen enable a wide range of contact conditions to be replicated across all three lubrication regimes

  • Unique configuration eliminates induced spin in the contact improving accuracy of test results

  • A wide range of specimen geometries and materials available


3D spacer layer imaging (3D-SLIM) is an optional accessory which when mounted on MTM can enable to measure sub-micron additive films on the specimens as they form during the test. 3D-SLIM uses the principle of optical interferometry.

The upper specimen is loaded against the disc and run under preset conditions for a fixed duration. Periodically throughout the test, the ball is stopped, loaded in reverse against a glass window and a film thickness map of the complete contact area is captured.


  • Fuel economy modelling

  • Industrial lubricant screening

  • Railway grease development

  • Reduction of wear in artificial joints

  • Optimization of mouth and skin feel

  • Green Tribology Research