Over the last decades, severisation of the operating conditions in lubricated contact has led to the decrease of film thicknesses and to a new failure mode. For example, starvation occurs in high-speed or grease-lubricated bearings and in mechanisms operating with a limited lubricant supply. The film thickness under starved conditions depends on the amount of lubricant in the contact inlet and can be calculated or measured. But in many industrial applications, the lubricant supply is unknown. This paper presents the effect of starvation on the fatigue life of machine elements. The first part links the operating conditions, the lubricant supply and the traction coefficient. The second part presents fatigue life measurements for different lubricant flow rates.
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