We have studied the lubricating properties of fatty acids with varying degree of unsaturation (0–2 double bonds), adsorbed onto steel surfaces. A correlation is seen between the molecular packing and the reduction of friction. A linear dependence of the friction force on load is found in systems with low adhesion, and a non-linear dependence when the adhesion is higher. A contact mechanics model by Sridhar, Johnson and Fleck (SJF) is used to evaluate the data obtained in systems with higher adhesion.

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