An Instability for Parallel Sliding of Solid Surfaces Separated by a Viscous Liquid Film

[+] Author and Article Information
B. N. Banerjee, R. A. Burton

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Astronautical Sciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.

J. of Lubrication Tech 98(1), 157-166 (Jan 01, 1976) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3452756 History: Received June 16, 1975; Online October 20, 2010


Thermoelastic phenomena in lubricated face type seals are analyzed for possible instabilities which may lead to large surface deformations and seal failure. Thresholds of such instabilities are found where a small, steadily moving, surface disturbance will neither grow nor decay. For a good thermal conductor sliding on a good insulator, several such thresholds exist. Only one, however, falls within a reasonable operating range, the critical sliding speed being

Ucrit = h̄κKMμαM
where h̄ is the nominal film-thickness, κ the wave number of the disturbance, KM the thermal conductivity of the conductor and αM its coefficient of thermal expansion, and μ the viscosity of the oil. Expressions are given for the approximate limits of h̄ within which such a threshold lies. Finally, it is shown that, as expected, a disturbance will grow when U > Ucrit and decay when U < Ucrit .

Copyright © 1976 by ASME
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