Infrared emission spectra of 5P4E polyphenyl ether were obtained from an operating elastohydrodynamic sliding contact at different speeds and loads by Fourier emission microspectrophotometry. The spectra were found to be polarized with respect to the direction of the conjunction line, especially at high shear rates. Film and metal surface temperatures were calculated from the spectra, and film thicknesses were determined under various operating conditions. Changes of polarized band structure above a critical shear rate, at which the slope of the film temperature versus shear curve changes abruptly and at which the film thickness assumes a minimum value, are consistent with a transition of the lubricant from a viscous liquid to a visco-elastic liquid or to an elastic solid.

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