Mini Thesis (m/f/d): Modeling and simulation of grease thickener layer as viscoelastic solid.

Webseite Institute for Machine Elements and Systems Engineering

The Institute of Machine Elements and System Engineering researches the fundamental structural and tribological behaviour of machine elements and represents them in experimentally validated model descriptions. These model descriptions are used to analyse and design the functional, loss and noise behaviour of entire technical systems with a focus on drive technology. The developed models are also used to research and develop methods of Model Based Systems Engineering as a central element of future inductive product development processes.

Greases, as a typical lubricant used for wind turbines drivetrain, consisting of a thickener, which stores the oil within its sponge-like structure. During operation, oil is slowly released, which is referred to as oil bleeding. The thickener structure is broken up during operation under mechanical stress and thickener particles are released. These thickener particles accumulate on the surfaces of the contact partners and form a layer of thickener material, which separates the surfaces from one another. Therefore, the objective of the work is to study the behaviour of the thickener layer under high stress.

The tribology group at MSE studies the interactions between the stressed surfaces of machine components and lubricants. The focus is on fundamental research on the mechanisms, such as friction and wear, as well as the experimental and simulative methods to elucidate the behaviour of lubricants and components under tribological stress. Further research focuses are the detection and classification of wear-critical operating conditions and the prediction of degradation processes.


  • Literature research on deformation of the thin soft layer (grease thickener) under high pressure
  • Development of a subroutine in Abaqus for thickener layer.
  • Simulation of thickener layer deformation under high pressure
  • Simulation of the deformation thickener layer with steel ball.


  • Independent and reliable working
  • Interest and an open mind to learn new things
  • Previous knowledge of programming, Abaqus is an advantage, but not mandatory
  • Previous knowledge of tribology is an advantage, but not mandatory

We offer:

  • Intensive supervision
  • Immediate start or by appointment
  • Excellent working atmosphere
  • Suitbale for homeoffice
  • Promising topic and experience for a future career


We look forward to your application by email:

Ankit Singh, M. Sc. RWTH
Institute for Machine Elements and Systems Engineering

Schinkelstraße 10, 52062 Aachen


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