introduction to tribology 36/3: bharat bhushan

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  • Tribology International 36 (2003)

    Book reviews

    Introduction to Tribology 36/3Bharat Bhushan

    The preface to Introduction to Tribology states that itis a condensed version of a previous book written byProfessor Bhushan (Principles and Applications ofTribology) and that it is intended for undergraduatecourses and active research workers in the field. At firstsight, the book is not obviously condensed given that itis more than 700 pages in length. This is partly a resultof the relatively large number subjects that are covered.However, in this sense it is over-ambitious with a peculi-arly uneven coverage such that many important topicsare given a rather superficial treatment. For example, 10pages are devoted to boundary lubrication and 6 to poly-mer friction compared with 110 pages for fluid filmlubrication. The inclusion of questions is always appreci-ated in texts aimed at the undergraduate level. Unfortu-nately, in this book they generally involve the trivialevaluation of formulae and thus do not lead to a deeperunderstanding of a particular topic.

    It is disappointing that a scientist of the authors emi-nence did not attempt a more critical appraisal of thefield particularly those aspects in which he has under-taken fundamental research. There have been consider-able advances in molecular tribology during the last dec-ade, a growing appreciation of the inter-relationshipsbetween tribological phenomena at the different lengthscales and an increasing range of high- tech industrialapplications of tribology such as in MEMs. It is probablethat a publication in these areas would have been betterreceived. As it is, Introduction to Tribology is an uneasymix of some nano/micro tribology and a predominanceof engineering tribology, which adds little to existingengineering publications. Overall, the book is well pro-duced but the majority of the diagrams are copied fromother books and papers, some of which are not appropri-ately acknowledged. Moreover, it is arguable that theauthor has been overgenerous in referencing his ownwork rather than opting for source material. In summary,some people may regard the monograph as a usefuladdition to the standard works on tribology but thisreviewer is unable to provide a strong recommendation.

    Corresponding author: Tel.: +44 151 641 3336; fax: +44 151641 1839.

    M.J. Adams,Unilever Research, Port Sunlight Laboratory, Quarry

    Road, East Bebington, Wirral, L63 3JW, UKE-mail address:


    Modern Tribology HandbookVol. 1-Principles of Tribology, Vol. 2- Materials, Coat-ing, and Industrial Applications, Editor-in-Chief: BharatBhushan, CRC Press 2001

    It has been for some time that books on tribology, aname representing a vast area of science and technology,tend to be dealing with highly specialised and trendytopics.

    The book, Modern Tribology Handbook, defies thecurrent trends. Edited by Bharat Bushan, who was aidedby sixty-seven contributors assembled from all over theworld presenting their expert knowledge and understand-ing of tribology in two volumes and on 1690 pages, itis truly a monumental publication. As the number ofcontributors considerably exceeds the number of chap-ters, it is not surprising that the book is somehow lackingcoherence, style and a leading theme or a mission. Thefirst impression of the book is the vast amount of infor-mation on every conceivable topic lumped together.Therefore, there are a variety of styles in which thematerial is presented, interpreted and discussed. Thetreatment of topics is not uniform, with chapters of reallyfirst class quality and chapters, which, well, could havebeen better prepared.

    The very size of the Modern Tribology Handbookreflects the extent to which the subject has developedsince the word tribology was introduced in 1966 bythe Jost Report.

    While much progress has been recorded in recent dec-ades and several research workers, some of whom arecontributors of chapters in these two volumes, haverevealed new facets of the subject and generated noveldata, it is as well to remember that the major users oftribological knowledge are the engineers who design,manufacture, and operate machinery. All of them whofind value in handbooks will certainly welcome theaddition of this compendium of tribological knowledgeand data.

    Introduction to Tribology 36/3Modern Tribology Handbook


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