An investigation of lubricant film thickness in sliding compliant contacts

Myant, C, Fowell, M, Spikes, HA and Stokes, JR (2010) An investigation of lubricant film thickness in sliding compliant contacts. Tribology and Lubrication Technology, 66 10: 46-60.

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Author Myant, C
Fowell, M
Spikes, HA
Stokes, JR
Title An investigation of lubricant film thickness in sliding compliant contacts
Journal name Tribology and Lubrication Technology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1545-858X
Publication date 2010-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 66
Issue 10
Start page 46
End page 60
Total pages 15
Place of publication Park Ridge, IL, United States
Publisher Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract An optical interferometric technique has been used to investigate fluid film thickness in sliding, isoviscous elastohydrodynamic contacts (I-EHL). Monochromatic two-beam interferometry has been employed to map lubricant film thickness across a range of applied loads and entrainment speeds. The contact was formed between an elastomer sphere and plain glass disc, illuminated under red light, λ = 630 nm. Experimental work has employed sunflower oil and glycerol/water solutions as the test lubricants, due to their similar refractive indices and varying viscosity. A black-and-white-image-intensified camera has been employed to capture interference images and a computer processing technique used to analyse these images, pixel by pixel, and create film thickness maps based on their gray- scale intensity representations. Comparison of film thickness results to theoretical models shows reasonable qualitative agreement. Experimental results show both a reduced horseshoe, which is limited to the rear of the contact, and wedge-shaped film thickness profile within the Hertzian contact region. This is unlike conventional hard EHL contacts where the horseshoe-shaped pressure constriction extends around the contact toward the inlet. Experimental results suggest that film thickness profiles take on a convergent wedge shape similar to that used in many hydrodynamic bearings. It is likely that this wedge is largely responsible for generating fluid pressure and therefore the load-carrying capacity of the contact. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Keyword Low Elastic Modulus EHL
Optical Interferometry
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Chemical Engineering Publications
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Created: Sun, 07 Nov 2010, 00:00:46 EST