Discrete Nature of Ultrathin Lubrication Film Between Mica Surfaces

[+] Author and Article Information
Hiroshige Matsuoka, Takahisa Kato

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113, Japan

J. Tribol 118(4), 832-838 (Oct 01, 1996) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2831616 History: Received May 04, 1995; Revised October 17, 1995; Online January 24, 2008


A new apparatus which can measure force and separation between surfaces accurately is developed. Ultrathin fluid lubrication film thickness between mica surfaces is measured using this apparatus. Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (OMCTS) is used as a lubricant. As a result of the experiment, it is found that when the film thickness is more than about 10 nm (ten times as large as the molecular diameter of OMCTS), there is good agreement with the conventional continuum fluid lubrication theory (EHL theory). In case of film thickness less than 10 nm, however, it deviates from the theoretical prediction and discretization of film thickness is observed. It is considered that this phenomenon is due to the solvation force (structural force), and that the molecular effect cannot be neglected in such an ultrathin lubrication phenomenon as in this experiment.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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