Shear Behaviour of Elastohydrodynamic Oil Films

K. L. Johnson , J. L. Tevaarwerk


A simple constitutive equation is proposed for the isothermal shear of lubricant films in rolling/sliding contacts. The model may be described as nonlinear Maxwell, since it comprises nonlinear viscous flow superimposed on linear elastic strain. The nonlinear viscous function can take any convenient form. It has been found that an Eyring 'sinh law' fits the measurements on five different fluids, although the higher viscosity fluids at high pressure are well described by the elastic/perfectly plastic equations of Prandtl-Reuss. The proposed equation covers the complete range of isothermal behaviour: linear and nonlinear viscous, linear viscoelastic, nonlinear viscoelastic and elastic/plastic under any strain history. Experiments in support of the equations are described. The nonlinear Maxwell constitutive equation is expressed in terms of three independent fluid parameters: the shear modulus $G$, the zero-rate viscosity $\eta $ and a reference stress $\tau _{0}$. The variations of these parameters with pressure and temperature, deduced from the experiments, are found to be in broad agreement with the Eyring theory of fluid flow.