ITS work benefits machinery on land, in water and even outer space.

But most people will have never heard of the science of tribology which has a major base in Warrington.

Now a Birchwood engineering company which specialises in tribology – the science which helped power the Hubble telescope – has celebrated its 50th anniversary with a new collaboration.

The National Centre of Tribology (NCT) announced the deal with The Henry Royce Institute last week.

NCT is operated by ESR Technology and it will be working with the institute for the advancement of tribology and advanced materials engineering.

Steve Gill, technical director at ESR Technology said: "Most people outside of engineering or science has never heard of tribology and yet it benefits us all in our daily lives making machinery operate more efficiently on land, at sea and in space.

"We are very proud of this new collaboration with the Royce Institute which will provide exciting new areas of tribology investigation into the future."

Allan Matthews, professor of surface engineering and tribology at The University of Manchester and director of the BP international centre for advanced materials, added: "NCT was in the vanguard of the industrial implementation of tribology and has remained as a key provider of consultancy and advice on best practice in this vitally-important industrial technology area.

"There is an excellent fit between the NCT’s activities and the research being pursued within the Royce Universities.

"I anticipate that the links between the NCT and the Royce will continue to strengthen and this will bring important benefits to the organisations and the country."

ESR Technology provide independent and specialist technical consultancy, products and services into various sectors including aerospace, vacuum, transport, rail, oil and gas, nuclear, renewable energy and the industrial and manufacturing markets.