Modeling Bearing and Shear Forces in Molecularly Thin Lubricants Academic Article uri icon


  • Under the effects of high shear rate and confinement between solid surfaces, the behavior of a thin lubricant film deviates from that of the bulk, resulting in significant increases of lubricant viscosity and interfacial slip. A semi-empirical model accounting for the breakdown of continuum theory at the nanoscale is proposed-based on film morphology and chemistry from available experimental and molecular dynamics simulation data-to describe lubricant behavior under shear. Viscosity stiffening and interfacial slip models are introduced into the formulations of the normal (bearing) and shear forces acting on a sphere that moves within a thin lubricant film parallel to a rigid plane. The experimentally measured 'apparent' viscosity confounding the effects of both stiffening and slip is used to predict the hydrodynamic forces acting on a fully or partially submerged sphere for the purposes of describing lubricant contact in magnetic storage. The proposed sphere-on-flat model forms the basis of a future, dynamic contact with friction model that will account for lubricant contact in the context of molecularly thin lubricated rough surface contact. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

author list (cited authors)

  • Vakis, A. I., Eriten, M., & Polycarpou, A. A.

complete list of authors

  • Vakis, Antonis I||Eriten, Melih||Polycarpou, Andreas A

publication date

  • January 1, 2010 11:11 AM