The Reynolds equation, which describes the lubrication effect arising through the interaction of two physical surfaces that are separated by a thin fluid film, is formulated with respect to a continuously evolving third surface that is described by a time-dependent curvilinear coordinate system. The proposed formulation essentially addresses lubrication mechanics at interfaces undergoing large deformations and a priori satisfies all objectivity requirements, neither of which are features of the classical Reynolds equation. As such, this formulation may be particularly suitable for non-stationary elastohydrodynamic lubrication problems associated with soft interfaces. The ability of the formulation to capture finite-deformation effects and the influence of the choice of the third surface are illustrated through analytical examples.
- Received January 13, 2016.
- Accepted February 25, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
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