Numerical analysis of lubrication of conformal contact with discontinuous oil droplets

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number107632
Journal / PublicationTribology International
Online published13 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022


Under limited lubricant supply condition, the lubrication of a slider bearing can be enhanced by discontinuous oil droplets on the lubrication track induced by poor surface wettability. This experimental finding is contrary to the general perception that strong surface wettability favors lubricating film build up. Theoretical lubrication models with the lubricant supply in the forms of oil droplets (Model Ⅰ) and uniform oil layer (Model Ⅱ) are established to clarify the odd experimental observation. Results show that oil supply in the form of droplets can achieve better lubrication performance than the uniform oil layer, which are correlated to the experimental finding. The mechanism is probably due to the early film pressure initiation when oil droplets enter the bearing contact.

Research Area(s)

  • Conformal contact, Limited lubricant supply, Oil droplet, Surface wettability