oil droplet, spreading, elastohydrodynamic lubrication, optical interferometry


Oil–air lubrication supplies lubricants in the form of droplets to elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) contacts, such as those in high-speed spindle bearings. However, there is a paucity of information related to understanding the lubrication behaviors of oil droplets within EHL contacts. In this study, behaviors of lubricant droplets, in terms of spreading around a static contact as well as passing through a rolling contact, were studied with an optical ball-on-disk EHL test rig. Influences of oil droplet size, viscosity, and surface tension on droplet spreading were examined. Lubricating film formation was also investigated when droplets traveled through the EHL contact region. The results indicated that droplet size and running speed significantly influenced film profiles. With increasing entrainment speeds, a small droplet passed through the contact without spreading and generated films with a significant depression in the central contact region.


Tsinghua University Press