Micro-inertia effects of surface roughness on hydrodynamic lubrication are analyzed in the light of similitude principles, viz. a newly conceived reduced Reynolds number and the classical parameter of relative roughness. In particular, the dynamic properties of laminar sheet flow in a two-dimensional channel between a sinusoidal wall and a flat wall are studied. FEM solutions of the Navier-Stokes equation are compared with corresponding experimental findings. The latter are gathered in an especially designed laminar-flow wind tunnel. Conclusions are drawn concerning the roughness sensitivity of laminar thin-film flows.

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