A simple method to calculate contact factor used in average flow model

Fanming Meng*, Q. Jane Wang, Diann Hua, Shuangbiao Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The average flow model proposed by Patir and Cheng offers a great convenience for the analysis of rough surfaces in lubrication. The contact factor introduced by Wu and Zheng helps to solve a difficulty in local film evaluation using the average flow model. This paper reports a simple method to calculate the contact factor. Method validation is demonstrated by the comparison of the contact factors for Gaussian surfaces obtained with the present method and the fitting formula of Wu and Zheng. The proposed method cannot only easily compute the contact factor values for Gaussian surfaces; it can also be used for those of non-Gaussian and measured surfaces, especially those with unknown probability density distribution of the roughness height.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Tribology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Contact factor
  • Gaussian and non-Gaussian surfaces
  • Measured surfaces
  • Probability density function
  • Surface orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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