Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Simultaneous measurement of film thickness and coverage of loaded boundary films with complex impedance analysis

  • 155 Accesses

  • 12 Citations


A new technique has been developed for investigating into the physical properties of loaded boundary films between metal surfaces, in which mercury is used as a counter surface of a steel surface for minimizing the effects of the individually different topographies of solid surfaces. An oil film is loaded by squeezing the steel surface into mercury, and the time evolutions of film thickness and coverage are obtained simultaneously with the complex impedance analysis thorough an equivalent electrical circuit. The loaded film of hexadecane is drained down to a thickness about 2 nm with decreasing coverage from unity to zero, in which a dependent relationship is found between film thickness and coverage. The addition of 0.01 wt% hexadecanoic acid into hexadecane forms an explicit residual film with a thickness about a few micrometers and a coverage of unity, which has an ability to support a mean pressure about 0.1 kPa without any hydrodynamic effects.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Figure 1.
Figure 2.
Figure 3.
Figure 4.
Figure 5.
Figure 6.
Figure 7.
Figure 8.
Figure 9.
Figure 10.
Figure 11.
Figure 12.
Figure 13.


  1. 1.

    Bowden F.P., Tabor D., (1950). The Friction and Lubrication of Solids. Oxford University Press, London

  2. 2.

    Needs S.J., (1940) Trans. ASME 62:331

  3. 3.

    B.V. Deryaguin (ed.), Research in Surface Forces Vol. 1 (1960); Translation by Consultants Bureau, New York (1964)

  4. 4.

    B. V. Deryaguin (ed.), Research in Surface Forces Vol. 2 (1964); Translation by Consultants Bureau, New York (1966)

  5. 5.

    Smith A.J., Cameron A., (1972) Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. A 328:541

  6. 6.

    Allen C.M., Drauglis E., (1969) Wear 14:363

  7. 7.

    Kimura Y., Nakano K., Kato T., Morishita S., (1994) Wear 175:143

  8. 8.

    Nakano K., (2003) Tribol. Lett. 14:17

  9. 9.

    Israelachvili J.N., Tabor D., (1972) Roy. Soc. Lond. A 331:19

  10. 10.

    Israelachvili J.N., McGuiggan P.M., Homola A.M., (1988) Science 240:189

  11. 11.

    Granick S., (1991) Science 253:1374

  12. 12.

    Tonck A., Georges J.M., Loubet J.L., (1988) J. Coll. Interf. Sci. 126:150

  13. 13.

    Georges J.M., Millot S., Loubet J.L., Tonck A., (1993) J. Chem. Phys. 98:7345

  14. 14.

    Akiyama Y., Nakano K., (2005) J. Jpn. Soc. Tribol. 50:327

  15. 15.

    Johnston G.J., Wayte R., Spikes H.A., (1991) Tribol. Trans. 34: 187

  16. 16.

    Cann P.M., Spikes H.A., Hutchinson J., (1996) Tribl. Trans. 39: 915

  17. 17.

    Abboud J.-L.M., Notario R., (1999) Pure Appl. Chem. 71:645

  18. 18.

    Cameron A., (1966). Principles of Lubrication. Longmans, London

Download references


The authors would like to express their sincere thanks to Nippon Oil Corporation for their helpful discussion as well as financial support.

Author information

Correspondence to K. Nakano.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Nakano, K., Akiyama, Y. Simultaneous measurement of film thickness and coverage of loaded boundary films with complex impedance analysis. Tribol Lett 22, 127–134 (2006).

Download citation


  • boundary lubrication test methods
  • mercury
  • nanotribology
  • non-Newtonian behavior
  • rheology
  • viscoelasticity