The perturbational approach that assumes Couette dominance in non-Newtonian elastohydrodynamic lubrication analysis is discussed. The assumption is found valid for non-Newtonian fluid models exhibiting Newtonian properties at low shear strain rate. A general non-Newtonian fluid model which meets that requirement is incorporated into elastohydrodynamic lubrication analysis of line contacts by using the perturbational approach. In the case of a circular fluid model the results obtained from the perturbational approach are in good agreement with those obtained from the direct approach. However, a better convergence and the possibility of avoiding using stress boundary conditions at high shear stress can be achieved by using the perturbational approach. Results are presented for various values of the shape exponent in the general model, and it transpires that this also is an important parameter of the fluid model.

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