Characteristics of Liquid Lubricant Films at the Nano-Scale

[+] Author and Article Information
Jianbin Luo, Ping Huang, Shizhu Wen

State Key Laboratory of Tribology, Tsinghja University, Beijing 100084, China

Lawrence K. Y. Li

Department of MEEM, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong

J. Tribol 121(4), 872-878 (Oct 01, 1999) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2834149 History: Received April 03, 1998; Revised December 11, 1998; Online January 24, 2008


Characteristics of a liquid lubricant film at the nanometer scale are discussed in the present paper. The variations of the film thickness in a central contact region between a glass disk and a super-polished steel ball with lubricant viscosity, rolling speed, substrate surface tension, running time, load, etc. have been investigated. Experimental results show that the variation of film thickness in the thin film lubrication (TFL) regime is largely different from that in the elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) regime. The critical transition point from EHL to TFL is closely related to lubricant viscosity, surface energy of substrates, and so on. The film in TFL is much thicker than that calculated from the Hamrock-Dowson formula. An unusual behavior of the lubricant film has also been observed when the effect of the running time on the film thickness is considered. The time effect and the formation mechanism of the enhanced film in the running process have been discussed.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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