The possibility to reduce the amount of cutting fluids from machining processes is actively studied by the industrialists and researchers. Minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) is a solution toward cutting fluids reduction. This paper investigates the consequences on friction coefficient induced by the use of MQL. A tribometer is used in order to experimentally simulate the local tribological conditions encountered during machining. As the relative sliding speed increases, a lower amount of oil is deposited on the rough surfaces. Depending on the MQL operating conditions and sliding velocities, it is plausible to reach starvation by leaving the real rough contact partly dry. A model computing a starvation percentage by filling an estimated oil amount in a deformed topography correlates with the experimental results.

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