Knowledge of the behavior of lubricants over a wide range of pressures and shear rates is fundamental to an understanding of elastohydrodynamic (EHD) lubrication. The mechanical properties of elastohydrodynamic lubricants have been measured by a number of researchers under the conditions of low pressures and low shear rates, as well as under high pressures and high shear rates. This paper presents experimental results for the synthetic lubricant 5P4E subjected to moderate pressures (60 MPa to 700 MPa) and high shear rates (105 s−1) using the technique of pressure-shear plate impact. Thin layers (25 μm thick) of the lubricant are confined between two hard elastic plates; the assembly is subjected to impact by a parallel plate in a manner designed to induce both compression and shear loading. For approximately 1 μs the compressed lubricant is subjected to a simple shearing motion; during that time, continuous records of the shear stress and shear rate are obtained using laser interferometry. Three test configurations were used in order to cover the pressure range, and special techniques were developed for preparing the specimen sandwich. The pressure range covered includes both the liquid and glassy states of the lubricant. The results show that a limiting shear stress model is an appropriate model for lubricant behavior under these conditions. The experimental results also show little change in the lubricant shearing behavior across the glass transition.

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