, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 280–302 | Cite as

Thin film lubrication in the past 20 years

  • Liran Ma
  • Jianbin LuoEmail author
Open Access
Review Article


Thin film lubrication (TFL), a lubrication regime that fills the gap between boundary lubrication (BL) and elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) regimes, was proposed 20 years ago. Since it was first recorded in the literature, TFL has gained substantial interest and has been advanced in the fields of theoretical and experimental research. Following the revelation of the TFL phenomenon and its central ideas, many studies have been conducted. This paper attempts to systematically review the major developments in terms of both the history and the advances in TFL. It begins with the description and definition of TFL, followed by the state-of-art studies on experimental technologies and their applications. Future prospects of relevant studies and applications are also discussed.


thin film lubrication TFL thin EHL film ordered structure interface 



The work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51527901, 51321092, and 51335005).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of TribologyTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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