An equation which is equivalent to the steady, one-dimensional incompressible Reynolds equation but which takes account of viscosity variations across the lubricant film thickness due to energy dissipation within the film is developed. It indicates that the pressure gradients developed in a lubricated contact are reduced by the influence of energy dissipation. The use of the equation is illustrated by applying it in the analysis of the inlet zones of continuous deformation processes such as strip rolling and strip and wire drawing. The analysis indicates that thermal effects play an important role in deciding the lubricant film thickness in such contacts.

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