Starved Elastohydrodynamic Lubrication With Reflow in Elliptical Contacts

[+] Author and Article Information
Takashi Nogi

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 7-44-1 Jindaiji-higashimachi, Chofu, Tokyo, 182-8522, Japan

Hiroshi Shiomi

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 2-1-1 Sengen, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8505, Japan

Noriko Matsuoka

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 7-44-1 Jindaiji-higashimachi, Chofu, Tokyo, 182-8522, Japan

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037135 History: Received April 04, 2017; Revised May 25, 2017


Under repeated overrollings, the elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) film thickness can be much less than the fully flooded value due to the ejection of the lubricant from the track. The ejection of the lubricant is caused by the pressure flow in the inlet, and under conditions of negligible reflow, the reduction rate is predicted by the numerical analysis with a uniform inlet film thickness. However, the degree of starvation is determined by the balance of the ejection and reflow. In the previous papers for circular contacts, reflow is taken into account using a non-uniform inlet film thickness obtained based on the Coyne-Elrod boundary condition. In this paper, the model for circular contacts is extended to elliptical contacts, which are of more practical importance in rolling bearings. The model is verified for the inlet distance and the film thickness using a roller on disk optical test device. Numerical results are fitted to an inlet distance formula, which is a function of the initial film thickness, the fully flooded central film thickness, the capillary number and the ellipticity ratio. The inlet distance formula can be applied to the Hamrock-Dowson formulas for the starved film thickness.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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