A theoretical model is developed for a slider lubricated by its own surface melting. Heat for melting is assumed to be supplied both from viscous dissipation in the liquid film and by conduction from the track at a temperature higher than the melting temperature of the slider. The analysis allows prediction of film thickness and the friction coefficient. The overall behavior results to be clearly dependent on which of the two heat sources is prevailing. In particular, thermal conduction appears to be the cause for a generally much lower friction coefficient with respect to an isothermal case.

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