• Lu Jing‐Yan
Reference work entry

Tribology, the study of the phenomena and mechanisms of friction, lubrication, and wear of surfaces in relative motion, can be traced back to remote antiquity in China, where it developed significantly.

Sliding bearings were discovered in ancient mechanisms, especially in carts which operated at high speeds and carried great loads. In order to reduce friction and damage, Chinese mechanics lubricated bearings on their carts. This was recorded in the earliest poetry collection entitled Bei Fen Quan Shu (The Bei Wind and Spring Water) as follows:
  • The grease used is sufficient to lubricate the axle shaft.

  • On the shaft end, we carefully check the pin bolt.

  • Quickly, send me home driving the cart.

  • Quickly, send me back to my Wei country town.

It proves that before the book Shi Jing(Poems and Odes) appeared – before 1100–600 BCE – lubricant was widely applied in China. Owing to their rhythmic quality, the verses were repeatedly quoted and talked about, and often appeared in later books as...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

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  • Lu Jing‐Yan

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