An empirical elastohydrodynamic (EHD) film thickness formula for predicting the minimum film thickness occurring within heavily loaded contacts (maximum Hertz stresses above 1.04 × 109 N/m2 (150,000 psi)) was developed. The formula was based upon X-ray film thickness measurements made with synthetic paraffinic, fluorocarbon, Type II ester and polyphenyl ether fluids covering a wide range of test conditions. Comparisons were made between predictions from an isothermal EHD theory and the test data. The deduced relationship was found to adequately reflect the high-load dependence exhibited by the measured data. The effects of contact geometry, material and lubricant properties on the form of the empirical model are also discussed.

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