This paper records observations of the behavior of an oil film subject to an oscillatory squeeze motion of its containing surfaces. In the experimental apparatus, the square upper surface oscillated at a frequency within the range 5–45 Hz and contained two pressure transducers. A fixed transparent lower surface facilitated viewing of cavitation patterns and their position relative to the pressure transducers. A computer controlled technique enabled these patterns to be photographed at any selected point in the oscillatory cycle, and synchronized with the corresponding instantaneous oil film pressure and thickness. The effect is given of vibratory amplitude, frequency and initial oil film thickness upon the steady force generated by the oscillatory squeeze motion. A previously identified cavitation regime has been shown to be more complex than hitherto supposed. Four sub-regimes have been tentatively identified. Their characteristics are described, together with photographs of typical sequences of cavitation patterns in each subregime, at identified times in the pressure and film thickness cycle. The effects of surrounding oil depth upon the vibratory amplitude at which cavitation first appears, is described. Descriptions are given of the sub-regime appearing at onset, and any changes thereto appearing with further increases in vibratory amplitude.

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