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Lubrication Fundamentals

(NASA-TM-81762} LUBBIC/_TIOI_ FUNDAMENTALS (_S_.) 3 p HE _02/MF _.01 CSCL 11ti G3/39

N81-23_90 Unclas _234_

Bernard J. Hamrock Lewis Research Center Cleveland, Ohio







April 1981

The ]dad per unit area in conformal bearings is relatively low. ' --_I-. N_m_rock i_i:i'ii'i_Ii. in particular.. Furthermore the load-carrying surface area remains essentially constant while the load is increased.. such as those that exist in ball bearings. . the surfaces fit snugly into each other with a high degree of geometrical conformity so that the load is carried over a relatively large area. _nd low unit loading._s..etweenthe surfaces. will generally exceed 700 MNim2.. 4J " _ 'r'"°'" . These high pressures result in elastic deformation of the bearing materials such that the elliptical contact areas are formed for oil film generation and load support.:. That is... ' " i. i _ _ Natlonal Aeronau Re SL s earch ewis a nd a CecenterAdministration Ct liC eve la nd._. in slider bearings the inclination of the bearing surface to the runner is typically one part in a thousand. as mentioned earlier._I_Ii_!'_ _ I " I LUBRICATION FUNDAMENTALS i'ili Bernard J. Before the various lubrication mechanisms are presented.and other sllding-surface bearings such as pad thrust bearings . very small contact are._!_"L.and very high unit loads. boundary. Some examples of these nonconfon_al surfaces are mating gear teeth. . the load per unit area in nonconformal contacts. on the right is a rolling-element bearing._i_ _.. hydrodynamic. This section deals with lubrication fundamentals and. Many m_chine elements have contacting surfaces that do not conform to very e ach sma othl el r con very tact well area. _ .._I _ __i!l_ii"_:°i_i_il _. ° .Ll 1 t ' ' ' '" " _'. --':" _ .. _. In contrast._. Fluid-film journal and slider bearings exhibit conformal surfaces.._ _i:i!ii!_. _._. this increase greatly enhances the lubricant's ability to support load without bel.. CONFORMAL AND NONCONFORMAL SURFACES Hydrodynamic lubrication is generally characterized by surfaces that are conformal. By contrast. and extreme pressure. typically only 1MN/m 2 and seldom over 7 MN/m2..:_' _i:_ .c _-_... i_:i. it is desirable to define conformal and nonconformal surfaces. relativel/ large effective contact areas. even at modest applied loads.... the rolling-element bearing has poor conformity between surfaces._i_il ._J_:i_..Sp Ohio SUMMARY A lubricant is any substance that is used to reduce friction a_d wear and to provide smooth running and a satisfactory life for machine components..c.._. and roiling-element bearings.. . mixed. j l cO L._:_. The significance of the high contact pressures is that they result in a considerable increase in fluid viscosity within the contact _rea. elastohydrodynamlc. c. . cams and followers. A universal characteristic of the journal bearing . The In full general burdethe n ofcon the tact loaareas d mustbetween t_n"e'n" nc barri o 'e ed ncon forma by la surfaces enlarge considerably with increasing load but are still small compared with the contact areas between conformal surfaces. r '_ '_. Inasmuch as viscosity is a measure of a fluid's resistance to flow. .:_ .g squeezed out of the contact zone Figure I illustrates the two distinctly different geometries. defines the various lubrication mechanisms:. On the l_ft is a typical journal a high degree of conformity t. _"_"". In journal bearings the radial clearance between the shafl and bearing is typically one-thousandth of the shaft diameter._.

i '!ii )i i _:_ • !:_'IZ. (2) The liquid is viscous which results in a resistance to flow. This flow is resisted by viscous forces./_" ) HYDRODYNAMIC LUBRICATION Fluid-film lubrication occurs when the lubricant fihn is sufficiently thick to prevent the opposing solids from coming into contact. The characteristics of hydrodynamic lubrication are illustrated in figure 2. The film thickness normally exceeds 10-6 m. for example.even Forri hydrodynamic lubri ation the film parameter isly in excess insensitive to chemical action in surface layers of molecular proportions. ' . The pressure developed in the oil film of hydrodynamically lubricated bearings is due to two factors: (I) The geometry of the moving surfaces produces a convergent wedge of the liquid. at a pressure of 700 MNIm2 (which is moderate since the pressure can be as high as 2100 MNIm2) the viscosity may be increased IO O00-fold._.! . Fi lms cof this thickne ss are clear composite rms. This condition is often referred to as the ideal form of lubrication since it provides low friction and a high resistance to wear. The physical properties of the lubricant dictate contact behavior. and the frictional characteristics arise purely from the shearing of the viscous lubricant..fh film thickness ms surface finish of solids A a and b Thert. As the contacts approach.. the surfaces deform elastically. lubricant is forced Irom between them because of the hydrodynamic effect. in turn.. such as gears and rolling-element bearings. i !!!!i_ _ _i ..forethe film parameter is a ratio of the film thickness to the of 10 and may se to 1OO._. ' l:. behaves virtually like a solid separating layer. The increased pressure resulting from the contact interaction represents load support by the contacts through the fluid film.. As the pressure increases. ! . and there is an accompanying pressure rise that._ k _i'I. and at the high pressures existing in the contact region. Besides the elastic effect there is a viscous effect._. notably viscosity. The lubricant films are normally many times thicker than the surface roughness._... The effect of the surface finish can be related to the film thickness by the following equation: A= h where . ELASTOIYDRODYNAMIC LUBRICATION E1astohydrodynamic lubrication is a form of fluid-film lubrication where elastic deformation of the bearing surfaces becomes significant. The liquid entering the gap between the gear teeth is trapped between the surfaces. It is usually associated with highly stressed machine components of low conformity. Elastohydrodynamic lubrication normally occurs in contacts where the film thickness is in the range 10-7 m • h < 10-6 m and the film parameter . raises the viscosity of the trapped lubricant.. h fa. that is. The lubrication of the contact is goverened by the bulk physical properties of the lubricant.. Figure 3 demonstrates the contact effects found in elastohydrodynamic lubrication.. !i _1.

._-_. :i_I • _.'_. wear will take place. penetration of the lubricant film will occur._. typically an alcohol..-4: !. real surfaces would b appear etween10 m a an sdl B and gt..i is in the range 3 < A < 10.'ylubrication. A partial fluid-film lubrication action develops in the bulk ot the space between the solids.. common fact(_rs in these applications are that the local elastic deformation of the solids provides coherent fluid film and that contact of asperities (high points on the surface) is largely prevented. mixed-film. c :I. there is initially a decrease in the coefficient of friction in the elastohydrodynamic regime and then an increase in the coefficient of friction in the hydrodynamic regime. In this figure the approximate locations of the various lubrication regimes already discussed are shown._. Another feature of the elastohyarodynamtc lubrication of low-elastic-modulus materials is the negligible effect of the relatively low pressures on viscosity of the lubricating fluid BOUNDARY LUBRICATION If in (_lubricated contact the pressures become too high..l . and the film parameter A is less than unity (A < I)._:. Some asperity contact may occur. and bound. lubrication are t'_ustrated The characteristics in ftgu:'e 4. Addin_ a small quantity of a certain active organic compound to the lubricating oII can extend the llfe of machine elements. as the film parameter A increases.. ":i_ilj ! _. "_'_i_... The surfaces shown are greatly =:i::_i_i!!i!I distorted for purpofes of illustration. 1hills 0-6 m. meets a metal or other solid surface. amicsuch lubr as ic elast omerim c echa se s a nd alrs u bbe tires. an amine.. These additives are present in small quantities ((i percent). dissolved in a mineral oil. The. -. the active end group attaches itself to the solid and graduallX builds up a surface layer.i..:/_: "_ _..• .) . more importantly.:. Interaction takes place between one or more molecular layers of boundary lubricating films. ng tly reat rolling er than 4. _1 _'. They function because they form low shear strength surface films that are strongly attached to the metal or a fatty acid.::.o i ' _!:__. . _. of elastohydrodynamtc _ herin_t elastoh ytd dyn ation nal ism is o er ncou ntered lhe with soft T bea ma er ro ials ._ is shown in figure b. Some boundary lubricants are long-chain molecules with an active end group. MIXED-FILM LUBRICATION i ! c_ _ . This figure shows that.l: _:. .. When such a material. rather The film thanpa sharp ramete peaks..I The behavior of the conjunction in a mixed-film lubrication regime is governed by a combination of boundary and hydrodynamic or-elastohydrodynamic effects. To scale. Contact will take place between the thickness in a mixed-film lubrication contact is less than Figure 5 illustrate> the film conditions existing in fluid film.i.:'.:_. The friction will rise and._ii _.i_. the running speeds too low.'. r A is normally The variation of the coefficient of friction _ with the film parameter .C&:i: (. The surface films vary in thickness from 5xi0-_ to I0-8 m. i_:_i":_ -: . or the surface roughness to great. they are able to prevent n_tal-to-metal contact. Although they are generally only one or two molecules thick.:"_ ':...

Extreme-pressure (EP) lubricantsusuallyconsist of a small quantity of an EP additive in a lubricating oil. The most widely used additivesfor this purpose contain phosphorus.but it will also give a low coefficientof will not only protect the surface. A word of caution. i .EXTREME-PRESSURE LUBRICATION The best boundary lubricantscease to be effectiveabove 200" to 250° C because the softeningor melting point of the surfacefilm is exceeded. In general these materials functionby reactingwith the surface to form a surfacefilm that preventsmetal-to-metal contact at high temperatures. the surfacefilm formed has a low shear strength.and sulfur. If surfaces are to operate under more severe conditions.other types of lubricantsmust be used.althoughEP additivesfunction by reacting with the surface. If.they must not be too reactiveor chemical corrosionmay be more troublesomethan friction and wear. in addition.