A rheological model has been developed which can be applied to boundary lubrication. The model is applicable to thin films in which the molecular length scale is the same order as the film thickness. The micro structure is simulated by porous layers attached to the contact surfaces. The model contains three material properties: (1) viscosity, (2) the thickness of the porous layer, and (3) a porosity parameter. A modified Reynolds equation is developed. Behavior in two types of contacts is calculated: squeezing flow between crossed cylinders (Chan and Horn’s, 1985 drainage experiment) and a one-dimensional converging wedge contact. The effect of the layer thickness parameter is to increase the load and reduce the friction coefficient. Increasing the porosity parameter value tends to reduce the magnitude of the load increase.

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