Adhesion of Contacting Rough Surfaces in the Presence of Sub-Boundary Lubrication

[+] Author and Article Information
H. M. Stanley, I. Etsion, D. B. Bogy

Computer Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720

J. Tribol 112(1), 98-104 (Jan 01, 1990) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2920237 History: Received February 28, 1989; Revised September 04, 1989; Online June 05, 2008


An improved DMT adhesion model is used in conjunction with an elastoplastic contact model to analyze the adhesion of contacting rough solid surfaces covered with extremely thin layers of a lubricant having a very high affinity for the surfaces. This we call sub-boundary lubrication. The paper investigates the effects of the solid surface topography and the film thickness of the lubricant on the adhesion and pull-off forces. A roughness-dependent critical thickness phenomenon is predicted: very rough surfaces may exhibit low adhesion for a wide range of lubricant thicknesses, while for smooth surfaces adhesion may increase dramatically even for a film thickness t below the standard deviation of surface heights σ. The increased adhesion could cause the surfaces to stick together to the extent that sensitive tribological systems may be damaged.

Copyright © 1990 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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