Reciprocating lubricated contacts sometimes suffer from oil starvation due to cavitation at the reversal of motion. However, the behavior of cavities is not well understood such that starvation can be theoretically predicted. In this study, the length of cavity in a steady state elastohydrodynamic lubricated point contact was calculated. For numerical simulation, a modified Elrod algorithm was used. An equation was obtained for the cavity enclosed in the oil meniscus. The equation was constructed with Moes dimensionless parameters M and L, assumed pressure of cavity, and viscosity pressure index of the lubricant. The dimensionless cavity length (or the ratio of cavity length by Hertzian contact radius) is proportional to the product of M-a and Lb. Careful examination of the equation elucidated that the cavity length is dominated by the viscosity, sum velocity, cavity pressure, and geometry of the contact. Experimental measurements with a ball-on-disk apparatus have shown good agreement. The validity of the equation suggests that the algorithm is applicable for complete transient simulations. In practice, the estimated cavity length can be a parameter for starvation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films