pp 1–21 | Cite as

Response of grease film at low speeds under pure rolling reciprocating motion

  • Yiming Han
  • Jing WangEmail author
  • Shanshan Wang
  • Qian Zou
  • Gary Barber
Open Access
Research Article


Using an optical interferometric technique, the grease film distribution under a pure rolling reciprocating motion is observed on a ball-disk test rig, to explore the transient response of grease, which is expected to fill the contact with thickener fiber and run for a long time under steady-state conditions. It is found that the reciprocating motion reduces the accumulation of the thickener fiber gradually with time. The maximum film thickness forms around the stroke ends. After 1,000 working cycles, very severe starvation occurs so that either the central or minimum film thickness becomes nearly constant over one working period. Thus, the life of grease lubrication under a transient condition is far below that under steady-state conditions. However, it is also found that by selecting a smaller stroke length, the thickener fiber spreads out in the contact instead of being removed from the contact at the 1,000th working period. When increasing the maximum entraining speed of the reciprocating motion to a certain value, during which the thickener fiber is not expected to accumulate under a steady-state condition, severe starvation occurs very quickly, causing surface damage.


grease lubrication reciprocation pure rolling grease starvation thickener fiber 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China through grants No. 51875298 and No. 51275253.


  1. [1]
    Petrousevitch A I, Kodnir D S, Salukvadze R G, Bakashvili D L, Schwarzman V S. The investigation of oil film thickness in lubricated ball-race rolling contact. Wear 19(4): 369–389 (1972)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [2]
    Hooke C J. The minimum film thickness in lubricated line contacts during a reversal of entrainment—general solution and the development of a design chart. Proc Inst Mech Eng Part J J Eng Tribol 208(1): 53–64 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    Sugimura J, Jones W R, Spikes H A. EHD film thickness in non-steady state contacts. J Tribol 120(3): 442–452 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    Wang J, Kaneta M, Yang P. Numerical analysis of TEHL line contact problem under reciprocating motion. Tribol Int 38(2): 165–178 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    Wang J, Hashimoto T, Nishikawa H, Kaneta M. Pure rolling elastohydrodynamic lubrication of short stroke reciprocating motion. Tribol Int 38(11–12): 1013–1021 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    Izumi N, Tanaka S, Ichimaru K, Morita T. Observation and numerical simulation of oil-film formation under reciprocating rolling point contact. Tribol Ser, 43: 565–572 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    Li G, Zhang C H, Luo J B, Liu S H, Xie G X, Lu X C. Film-forming characteristics of grease in point contact under swaying motions. Tribol Lett 35(1): 57–65 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. [8]
    Li G, Zhang C H, Xu H Y, Luo J B, Liu S H. The film behaviors of grease in point contact during microoscillation. Tribol Lett 38(3): 259–266 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    Wang J, Meng X H, Wang S S, Zou Q. Grease film variation in reciprocating sliding motion. Tribol Int 114: 373–388 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    Ali F, Křupka I, Hartl M. Enhancing the parameters of starved EHL point conjunctions by artificially induced replenishment. Tribol Int 66: 134–142 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    Huang L, Guo D, Wen S Z, Wan G T Y. Effects of slide/roll ratio on the behaviours of grease reservoir and film thickness of point contact. Tribol Lett 54(3): 263–271 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    Eriksson P, Wikström V, Larsson R. Grease passing through an elastohydrodynamic contact under pure rolling conditions. Proc Inst Mech Eng J Eng Tribol 214: 309–316 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    Cann P M, Spikes H A. In lubro studies of lubricants in EHD contacts using FTIR absorption spectroscopy. Tribol Trans 34(2): 248–256 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    Cyriac F, Lugt P M, Bosman R, Venner C H. Impact of water on EHL film thickness of lubricating greases in rolling point contacts. Tribol Lett 61(3): 23 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    Zhang Y M. Studies on lubrication properties of lithium based grease. Master’s thesis. Qingdao (China): Qingdao University of Technology, 2015.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    De Laurentis N, Kadiric A, Lugt P, Cann P. The influence of bearing grease composition on friction in rolling/sliding concentrated contacts. Tribol Int 94: 624–632 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [17]
    Kanazawa Y, Sayles R S, Kadiric A. Film formation and friction in grease lubricated rolling-sliding non-conformal contacts. Tribol Int 109: 505–518 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. [18]
    Liu H C, Guo F, Guo L, Wong P L. A dichromatic interference intensity modulation approach to measurement of lubricating film thickness. Tribol Lett 58(1): 15 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The author(s) 2018

Open Access: The articles published in this journal are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yiming Han
    • 1
  • Jing Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shanshan Wang
    • 1
  • Qian Zou
    • 2
  • Gary Barber
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Mechanical and Automotive EngineeringQingdao University of TechnologyQingdaoChina
  2. 2.School of Engineering and Computer ScienceOakland UniversityRochesterUSA

Personalised recommendations