Harmen Blok

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Harmen Blok was a Dutch mechanical engineer. He was best known for his work in the field of tribology.[1]

Early life and education[]

Blok was born on 9 September 1900 in Amsterdam. He was the son of Pieter Engel Johannes Blok and Wikje Harmina Poort.[citation needed]

He graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Delft University of Technology in 1932.[1]


After graduating from the Delft University of Technology, and a short period as research assistant, Harmen Blok joined the Delft Laboratory of the Royal Dutch Shell Group in 1933, to work on the fundamentals of lubrication. He left Shell in 1951 to take up a position as Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Delft University of Technology.[1] Here, along with Professor Boerlage, he developed the now ubiquitous four-ball wear tester.[1] One of his key contributions was the prediction of flash temperature rise inside rubbing contacts.[2] He also worked on thin-film fluid lubrication[3] and gear tribology.[4][5]

He was a Fellow of the American Society Mechanical Engineers and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.[1] In 1973, he was awarded the Tribology Gold Medal from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.[1]

He was a founding member of the International Tribology Council (ITC).[6]


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f "1973 Tribology Gold Medal". www.imeche.org. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  2. ^ Blok, H. (1 November 1963). "The flash temperature concept". Wear. 6 (6): 483–494. doi:10.1016/0043-1648(63)90283-7. ISSN 0043-1648.
  3. ^ Blok, Harmen (1951). "Fundamental Mechanical Aspects of Thin-Film Lubrication". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 53 (4): 779–804. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1951.tb54238.x. ISSN 0077-8923.
  4. ^ Blok, H. (1 September 1969). "Paper 3: Recent Developments in Gear Tribology". Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Conference Proceedings. 184 (15): 21–29. doi:10.1243/PIME_CONF_1969_184_438_02. ISSN 0367-8849.
  5. ^ DeWinter, A.; Blok, H. (1 February 1974). "Fling-Off Cooling of Gear Teeth". Journal of Engineering for Industry. 96 (1): 60–70. doi:10.1115/1.3438331. ISSN 0022-0817.
  6. ^ "History - About ITC - ITC". itctribology.net. Retrieved 15 March 2021.

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