The numerical results of a previously developed thermal EHL theory describing the collisions between idealized asperities are analyzed statistically to obtain macroscopic values of unit load, traction, and friction coefficient for two model surfaces in sliding contact under a range of conditions. It is shown that significant unit loads and tractions can be generated as a result of the microsopic EHL contacts alone. The variation of friction coefficient with load and sliding speed corresponds qualitatively with experiment in the mixed lubrication regime between boundary and hydrodynamic lubrication, but quantitatively the friction coefficients are two to three times too high. The results imply that the lubricant becomes non-Newtonian and/or exhibits a limiting shear strength in virtually all asperity interactions, even those in which the thickness of the intervening lubricant film is maintained in the 20-nm range.

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