This paper describes a theory of liquid lubrication applicable to parallel surfaces, such as the surfaces of a rotary-shaft face seal. The lubrication mechanism presented is based on surface microirregularities and associated film cavities. Closed-form analytical solutions are obtained giving load capacity as a function of speed, viscosity, and surface-asperity dimensions. The theoretical results agree qualitatively with load capacity determined experimentally for three asperity distributions.

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