This work focuses on the friction and temperature behavior of thermoelastohydrodynamically lubricated (TEHL) contacts under rolling-sliding conditions. For this purpose, a twin-disk test rig is used with a hybrid setup of plain and fiber-reinforced polyamide (PA) 66 and polyetheretherketone (PEEK) disks paired with case-hardened steel disks and three different lubricants. Experimental investigations include various lubrication regimes by varying sum velocity and oil temperature as well as load and slip ratio. The measured friction in thermoplastic TEHL contacts is particularly very low in the area of high fluid load portion, which refers to the large deformation of the compliant polymer surface. Newtonian flow behavior mainly determines fluid friction. The low thermal effusivity of polymers insulates the contact and can further reduce the effective lubricant viscosity, and thus the fluid friction. For low sum velocities, solid friction influences the tribological behavior depending on the solid load portion. Although the interfacial contact friction is comparably small, material damping strongly contributes to power losses and increases bulk temperature, which in turn affects the TEHL contact. Thus, loading frequency and the resulting bulk temperature are identified as one of the main drivers of power losses and tribological behavior of lubricated thermoplastic polymer contacts.
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