A justification of the load‐carrying capacity of elastohydrodynamic lubrication film based on the Newtonian fluid model

Y. Zhang (Shanxi Institute of Technology, Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, People's Republic of China)

Industrial Lubrication and Tribology

ISSN: 0036-8792

Publication date: 1 December 2005

Abstract

Purpose

To make a derivation of the load‐carrying capacity of elastohydrodynamic lubrication for special operating conditions, i.e. extremely heavy loads or extremely low rolling speeds based on the Newtonian fluid model by taking the Grubin‐type EHL inlet zone analysis, justify the load‐carrying capacity of elastohydrodynamic lubrication film in these operating conditions, and propose future trends of the research in EHL and mixed EHL based on the obtained results in the present paper.

Design/methodology/approach

A Grubin‐type EHL inlet zone analysis is carried out for the isothermal EHL of line contacts in special operating conditions, i.e. extremely heavy loads or extremely low rolling speeds based on the Newtonian fluid model. Comparison is made between the central EHL film thickness in line contacts, respectively, predicted by conventional EHL theories and accurately predicted from the present analysis for these operating conditions. An interpretation is made for the EHL film thickness in these operating conditions by taking the approach of the transportation and flow of the fluid through elastohydrodynamic contact when the EHL film is, respectively, thick and molecularly thin in the Hertzian zone. Conclusions are drawn on the load‐carrying capacity of EHL, EHL contact regimes and mixed EHL regimes in these operating conditions.

Findings

The present EHL inlet zone analysis shows that the EHL film thickness in the Hertzian zone is on the nanometer scale and the lubricant is non‐continuum across the film thickness in the Hertzian zone at relatively heavy loads in line contact EHL when the dimensionless rolling speed is lower than the dimensionless characteristic rolling speed Uch=0.0372W1.50/G. In this case, the central EHL film thickness in line contact EHL predicted by the conventional EHL theory may be several orders of magnitudes higher than that accurately predicted. This difference may be greater for heavier loads.The present results for line contact EHL based on the Newtonian fluid model show that in line contact EHL, for relatively heavy loads and the dimensionless rolling speed lower than the dimensionless characteristic rolling speed Uch=0.0372W1.50/G, the EHL analysis needs to further incorporate the lubricant non‐continuum effect across the film thickness in part of the lubricated area to investigate the EHL film thickness and the EHL film pressure in the contact in this very low film thickness condition; only the results based on such an analysis are believable for the EHL stage where the lubricant film thickness in the Hertzian zone approaches to zero and then vanishes; the results for EHL based on the Newtonian fluid model is unable to conclude that the EHL film thickness in the Hertzian zone is zero and dry contact occurs between the contact surfaces in EHL in any operating condition for ignoring the lubricant non‐continuum regime governing the EHL stage preceding the occurrence of the zero lubricant film thickness in EHL.

Practical implications

A very useful source of information for academic scientists, engineers and tribologists who are engaged in the study and application of the theory of elastohydrodynamic lubrication.

Originality/value

A derivation is first carried out for the isothermal EHL of line contacts in extremely heavy loads or extremely low rolling speeds by taking the Grubin‐type EHL inlet zone analysis by the present paper. Results and conclusions on the load‐carrying capacity of EHL in these operating conditions are first strict and thus convincing. These results are also original in clarifying the future trends of the researches in EHL and mixed EHL.

Keywords

Citation

Zhang, Y. (2005), "A justification of the load‐carrying capacity of elastohydrodynamic lubrication film based on the Newtonian fluid model", Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, Vol. 57 No. 6, pp. 224-232. https://doi.org/10.1108/00368790510622317

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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