In many tribological applications, such as journal bearings and gears, a fluid film is used to accommodate velocity between moving surfaces. To model the behavior of this film and to predict its ability to carry load, the Reynolds equation is predominantly employed. As computational processing power continues to increase, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is increasingly being employed to predict the fluid behavior in lubrication environments. Using CFD is advantageous in that it can provide a more general approximation to the Navier-Stokes equations than the Reynolds equation. Moreover, using CFD allows for the simulation of multiphase flows as could occur during bearing contamination and bearing exit conditions. Because the bearing surfaces move relative to each other as they obtain equilibrium with the fluid pressure, there is a need to incorporate the moving boundary into the CFD calculation, which is a non-trivial task. In this work, a fluid-structure interaction (FSI) technique is explored as an approach to model the dynamic coupling between the moving bearing surfaces and the lubricant. The benefits of using an FSI approach are discussed and the results of its implementation in a lubricated sliding contact model are presented.

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