Tribometers are used to examine the friction behaviour of material pairs. A counter body such as a steel ball is applied to a rotating specimen with a defined normal force (approximately 5 N) (pin-on-disc). The friction coefficient is calculated from the frictional force and normal force. Tribological investigations are used to determine low-friction and wear-resistant material pairs for technical movement systems.
Fraunhofer IST has special high-temperature tribometers for test temperatures up to 1000 °C and high-load tribometers with normal forces in the range of 10 to 1000 N. Studies using fluid lubricants are possible as well.