The Influence of Surface Roughness on the Lubrication Properties of Adsorbing and Non-Adsorbing Biopolymers
The lubrication properties of a glycoprotein (pig gastric mucin or PGM) and a high-molecular-weight hydrosoluble polymer (guar gum) have been studied. Friction has been measured over a wide range of entrainment speeds and Stribeck curves have been obtained spanning the boundary, mixed and hydrodynamic lubrication regimes. The adsorption properties of the polymers have also been assessed using evanescent wave spectroscopy. The results show that the polymer that adsorbs on solid surfaces is able to reduce friction in the boundary lubrication regime (PGM). Guar, which does not adsorb on surfaces, shows high friction in boundary lubrication but still promotes the onset of mixed lubrication; thus friction starts to fall from its boundary values at low speeds. These results can be explained in classical terms of entrainment of polymer solution into the thin film conjunction and associated shear thinning in the contact inlet. With roughened surfaces, a shift of the Stribeck curves towards high speed is observed.