The purpose of this study is to investigate lubricant film-forming capability of oil-impregnated sintered material in highly loaded non-conformal contacts. This self-lubrication mechanism is well described in lightly loaded conformal contacts such as journal bearings; however, only a little has been published about the application to highly loaded contacts under elastohydrodynamic lubrication regime (EHL).
Thin film colorimetric interferometry is used to describe the effect of different operating conditions on lubricant film formation in line contacts.
Under fully flooded conditions, the effect of porous structure can be mainly traced back to the different elastic properties. When the contact is lubricated only by oil bleeding from the oil-impregnated sintered material, starvation is likely to occur. It is indicated that lubricant film thickness is mainly governed by oil bleeding capacity. The relationship between oil starvation parameters corresponds well with classic starved EHL theory.
To show practical, relevant limitations of the considered self-lubrication system, time tests were conducted. The findings indicate that EHL contact with oil-impregnated sintered material may provide about 40 per cent of fully flooded film thickness.
For the first time, the paper presents results on the EHL film-forming capability of oil-impregnated sintered material by measuring the lubricant film thickness directly. The present paper identifies the phenomena involved, which is necessary for the understanding of the behavior of this complex tribological system.
This research was within scientific cooperation between the Bavarian State Ministry of Education, Science and the Arts and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (project No. JC/14 Stahl; 8E15B011). The authors also would like to thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation, HO 1339/49-1), as well as the participating company, Miba, for their kind sponsorship of this research project which has been focusing on self-lubricated highly loaded rolling–sliding contacts with oil-impregnated sintered materials.
Omasta, M., Ebner, M., Šperka, P., Lohner, T., Krupka, I., Hartl, M., Hoehn, B.-R. and Stahl, K. (2018), "Film formation in EHL contacts with oil-impregnated sintered materials", Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, Vol. 70 No. 4, pp. 612-619. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILT-11-2017-0340
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