Effect of EHL Contact Conditions on the Behavior of Traction Fluids
The work reported here is an experimental study aimed at identifying whether low temperature traction reduction is related to a fundamental change in rheological behavior specific to the fluids tested or to more generic changes in the EHL contact conditions. A series of model experiments were performed using a mini traction machine (MTM) on three high-viscosity polybutene samples. The results have been mapped against previously reported non-dimensional parameters used to identify different EHL regimes. The results show that dramatic reductions in traction occur when the contact transitions from the rigid piezo-viscous (RP) toward the rigid iso-viscous (RI) region. Similar results were also found for two other high-viscosity fluids of different molecular structure and lower traction properties. The results support the hypothesis that the reduction in traction observed at low temperature is due to a change in EHL contact conditions rather than being solely due to a change in the rheological performance of the test fluids.