Experimental investigation of EHD grease lubrication in finite line contacts

Zhijian Wang, Xuejin Shen*, Xiaoyang Chen, Dehua Tao, Lei Shi, Shuangbiao Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to investigate the grease-lubricated film-forming mechanisms in the finite line contact and to improve the grease-lubricated finite line contact’s film-forming capacity. An elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) test rig with two interferometry microscopes, which could simultaneously monitor two different contact locations in the finite line contact, was constructed in order to study the influences of the grease thickener formulation on the film thickness and lubrication condition. By using the relative light intensity method, the thickness maps of the grease-lubricated film were calculated from the interferometer images captured by the two microscopes. The test results revealed that the grease thickener’s formulation had remarkable effects on film formation and the perturbation of film thickness. For the lithium-based grease, the film’s thickness near the two ends of the roller was prone to severe perturbation caused by the conglomeration of clumps that were hard to shear. For the aluminum-complex-based grease, the fibers tended to accumulate in the middle of the roller rather than at the two ends. The urea-based grease could be easily sheared into smaller particles. In addition to the straight-line profile rollers, the logarithmic profile rollers were tested and found to effectively enhance the axial grease flow, increase the axial shear stress, and thus shear more fibers into particles within the contact area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-245
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • EHL
  • film thickness
  • finite line contact
  • grease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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