A quantitative solution for the full shear-thinning EHL point contact problem including traction

Yuchuan Liu*, Q. Jane Wang, Scott Bair, Philippe Vergne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


We present a realistic elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) simulation in point contact using a Carreau-like model for the shear-thinning response and the Doolittle-Tait free-volume viscosity model for the piezoviscous response. The liquid lubricant modeled is a high-viscosity polyalphaolefin which has been shown by high-pressure viscometry to possess a relatively low threshold for shear-thinning as a single-component liquid lubricant. As a result, the measured EHL film thickness is about one-half of the Newtonian prediction. We derived and numerically solved the two-dimensional generalized Reynolds equation for the modified Carreau model based on Greenwood. In this simulation, viscosity was not treated as an adjustable parameter; the models used for the pressure and shear dependence of viscosity were obtained entirely from viscometer measurements. Truly remarkable agreement is found in the comparisons of simulation and experiment for traction coefficient and for film thickness in both pure rolling and sliding cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-181
Number of pages11
JournalTribology Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • EHL
  • Film thickness
  • Non-Newtonian
  • Numerical simulation
  • Traction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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