The effects of nanotexturing on oil film thickness and shape under pointcontact elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) conditions were experimentally investigated. A disk-onball friction tester with an optical interferometer was used to measure oil film thickness and to observe the oil film shape. Periodic groove structures with a spiral, perpendicular, or parallel shape and with various groove depths and distances were formed by irradiation of a femtosecond laser onto the surface of steel balls. These nanotextured balls were tested under a load of 20 N and at rotational speeds from 1.0 to 3.0 m/s. Most of the balls with nanotexturing had a thicker oil film than those without texturing. The groove depth and angle were the key parameters determining the thickness of the oil film as they controlled the amount of side leakage of oil from the contact point. Optimization of these parameters resulted in an oil film that was almost twice as thick as that on the ball without texturing.

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