Modeling Sliding Contact of Rough Surfaces with Molecularly Thin Lubricants Academic Article uri icon


  • The sliding contact between two rough surfaces in the presence of a molecularly thin lubricant layer is investigated. Under very high shear rates, the lubricant is treated as a semi-solid layer with normal and lateral shear-dependent stiffness components obtained from experimental data. The adhesive force in the presence of lubricant is also adapted from the Sub-boundary lubrication model and improved to account for variation in surface energy with penetration into the lubricant layer. A model is then proposed, based on the Improved sub-boundary lubrication model, which accounts for lubricant contact and adhesion and its validity is discussed. The model is in good agreement with published experimental measurements of friction in the presence of molecularly thin lubricant layers and suggests that a molecularly thin lubricant bearing could be successfully used to reduce solid substrate damage at the interface. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

author list (cited authors)

  • Vakis, A. I., & Polycarpou, A. A.

citation count

  • 5

publication date

  • September 2011