A combined experimental and numerical study has been carried out to explore friction in rolling–sliding, soft-EHL contact. Experimental work has employed corn syrup solutions of different concentrations in water to provide a range of lubricant viscosities and has measured Couette friction in mixed rolling–sliding conditions over a wide range of entrainment speeds. A Stribeck curve has been generated, ranging from the boundary to full film, isoviscous-elastic lubrication regime. In the latter regime, friction coefficient is approximately proportional to the product of (entrainment speed × viscosity) raised to the power 0.55. Numerical solution of the isoviscous-elastic lubrication regime has been used to derive predictive equations for both Couette and Poiseuille friction in circular, soft-EHL contacts. This shows that in soft-EHL the Poiseuille or “rolling” friction can have magnitude comparable to the Couette friction. The calculated Poiseuille friction coefficient can be predicted from non-dimensional load and speed using a simple power law expression similar to that used for film thickness. However accurate prediction of calculated Couette friction coefficient requires a two-term power law expression. Comparison of experimental and numerical Couette friction coefficients shows quite good agreement between the two, with a similar non-dimensional speed dependence, but slightly lower predicted than measured values.
Keywords: Soft-EHL, Isoviscous-elastic, Friction, Couette friction