Analysis of lubrication failure using molecular simulation

B. L. Severson, Julio M Ottino, Randall Q Snurr*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Monte Carlo simulations of chain molecules are used to study lubricant film behavior in confined regions. Lubrication failure is studied under two possible scenarios. The first is desorption of the lubricant molecules from the gap between asperities driven by equilibrium thermodynamics with increasing temperature. The second is the physical removal (squeezing out) of lubricant molecules from between asperities in close proximity due to high loads on solid asperities. Using simulations in the grand canonical and grand isostress ensembles, combinations of load and increased temperature are evaluated for their potential to thermodynamically drive the system to a lubrication failure event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-260
Number of pages8
JournalTribology Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006


  • Boundary lubrication
  • Boundary lubrication thermal effects
  • Carbon
  • Failure analysis
  • Graphite
  • Wear mechanisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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