Tribology Letters

, 67:116 | Cite as

Lubrication Mechanisms Between Parallel Rough Surfaces

  • Noël BrunetièreEmail author
  • Arthur Francisco
Original Paper


This paper presents a numerical analysis of the hydrodynamic pressure build-up between parallel surfaces. According to the Reynolds theory, it is not possible to generate a pressure between flat parallel sliding surfaces. However, experimental results demonstrate that mechanical seal surfaces can be separated by a full fluid film if the sliding speed is high enough. Several theories, including the roughness effect, have been proposed to explain this unexpected lift-off. A real demonstration of the roughness induced pressure generation has only recently been made possible with the development of deterministic mixed lubrication models. It is demonstrated that a transverse pumping mechanism that varies from place to place with the surface topography can explain the pressure build-up. A simplified model is proposed to include the transverse pumping and to simulate the roughness induced pressure generation.


Mixed lubrication Hydrodynamic lubrication Roughness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Pprime, CNRS, Université de Poitiers, EnsmaFuturoscopeFrance

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