In recent years it has been shown experimentally by a number of workers that simple, Newtonian liquids can slip against solid surfaces when the latter are both very smooth and lyophilic. It has also been shown theoretically how, based on a half-wetted bearing principle, this phenomenon may be used to significantly reduce friction in lubricated sliding contacts and thus make possible the hydrodynamic lubrication of very low load contacts. This paper describes the experimental validation of this concept. A low load bearing is constructed and the influence of surface roughness and the wetting properties of the surfaces on friction are investigated over a wide range of sliding speeds. It is shown that liquid slip can be used to considerably reduce friction in full film, hydrodynamic conditions.

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