Mechanism of Boundary Lubrication and the Edge Effect

[+] Author and Article Information
Y. Tamai, B. G. Rightmire

Surface Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

J. Basic Eng 87(3), 735-739 (Sep 01, 1965) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3650662 History: Received July 10, 1964; Online November 03, 2011


Experimental work was carried out on the boundary lubrication of a copper-copper couple with pure cetane, palmitic acid solution of cetane, and some other organic materials. The purpose was to get information about α and μlube , which appear in the friction equation:

μ = αμsolid + (1 − α)μlube,
by using two different kinds of copper surface, a clean surface, and an oxidized surface. α was found to be small with palmitic acid solution, and the estimated shear strength of palmitic acid was high under the examined condition. α and μlube seemed to be properties which are independent of each other. α is closely related to the attraction force between the lubricant and the substrate, whereas μlube is related to the complexity of molecular structure of the lubricant. A comparison was made of bulk-liquid and thin-film lubrication. μlube was smaller in thin-film lubrication than it was in bulk-liquid lubrication. This suggests that the frictional resistance may be partly contributed by liquid in the edge space around the real contact.

Copyright © 1965 by ASME
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