Types Of Friction And Lubrication Regimes

Types of friction

Ever wonder, why it is difficult to move flat objects while it’s easy to move round objects?

The answer is Friction.

The force generated by two surfaces that touch and slide against each other is called Frictional Force. It acts between the surfaces in the same or in opposite directions. Friction is dependent on

  • Surface texture
  • Magnitude of Force
  • Angle and Position of Object

A frictional force is related with the motion of the body and can hardly get rid of. However, lubricating fluids can help in decreasing the frictional force between the bodies but not completely.

Large frictional forces can result in abrasion and wear and tear of the surfaces that can be harmful in the long run. It deforms the surfaces gradually, leading to reduction in the mechanical stability of the body. Also, a high amount of friction generates greater heat that can be detrimental.

There are generally four types of friction

  • Static friction
  • Kinetic friction
  • Rolling friction
  • Fluid friction
  • Static friction

The frictional force that keeps a body at rest is called static friction. It is seen when a stationary body is tried to move on a surface without initiating any relative motion between the body and surface. Static friction depends on the coefficient of static friction and is always equal when the body is at rest. It is a self-regulating force and occurs in the opposite direction to the applied force.

  • Kinetic friction

The force that acts between moving surfaces is referred to as kinetic friction. It is experienced in the opposite direction of the moving body. Kinetic friction is dependent on the coefficient of kinetic friction. The coefficient of kinetic friction is generally lesser than the static friction. As it is the force that opposes sliding motion and hence is also called sliding friction.

  • Rolling friction

When a body rolls over another surface, it has only a single point of contact. This gives rise to a resistance known as rolling friction. It is generally lower than the sliding friction. Due to only a single point of contact, surfaces don’t rub against each other. Rolling friction is dependent on coefficient of rolling friction, which in turn dependent on the following:

  • Radius of the rolling body
  • Density
  • Toughness of the Surface
  • Fluid friction

The force that curbs the movement of solid, liquid, or gas through the liquid medium is known as fluid friction. Any movement inside the fluid can cause the internal resistance to arise. This is also known as viscous drag or fluid friction.

Lubrication is needed to lessen the effect of friction on any surface. Specific operating conditions ask for application of varied lubrication film on the surfaces. This is defined as Lubrication regimes. It is dependent on the degree of contact between the surfaces. Generally, there are four types of lubrication regimes.

Boundary Lubrication

Metal to metal contact between two sliding surfaces of the machine is generally linked with the boundary lubrication. The metal surfaces that are lubricated may come in contact with each other during heavy load, start-up or shutdown. Hence, it is advised to apply thick lubrication to overcome the surface friction during heavy load conditions. Correct lubricant viscosity can reduce boundary lubrication.

Mixed Lubrication

When the sliding speed between the two surfaces of the machine increases, boundary lubrication gets reduced. It creates a lubricant film between the surfaces that drops the friction impressively. This condition is known as Mixed Lubrication. It is the lubrication regime between the hydrodynamic lubrication and boundary lubrication.

Image Credit: InTech


EHD Lubrication

Whenever there is a rolling motion between the two surfaces of a machine, a condition known as Electrohydrodynamics (EHD) lubrication occurs. As rolling motion has a small area of contact between the surfaces, it develops a high-contact pressure when the lubricant fluid enters the contact zone. This condition enhances the fluid pressure that ultimately results in high viscosity and high loading capacity of the fluid. The metal surfaces may slightly deform due to high load at the contact zone but returns to normal form as the rotation continues.

Hydrodynamic Lubrication

Hydrodynamic lubrication regime is seen in sliding surfaces, mostly between a rotating shaft and journal bearing. This lubrication regime has low-contact pressure between the surfaces of similar geometry in relative motion. It is perfect to avoid friction and wear as oil film lifts the two surfaces away from each other. Optimum oil viscosity is very necessary for the effective hydrodynamic lubrication to work efficiently in any operating condition.

Molygraph has decades of industry experience in manufacturing engineered lubricants that help enhance output for various industries. We have successfully assisted 100+ customers with our engineered lubricants over the years.

Get in touch with us if you are looking to discuss lubrication requirements for your company. Our experts will be glad to satisfy your needs by ensuring you pick the right product for the right job.

Boundary LubricationChain LubricantsEHD LubricationEngineered LubricantFluid FrictionHydrodynamic LubricationKinetic FrictionLubricationLubrication mechanismsLubrication RegimesMixed LubricationRolling FrictionStatic FrictionTypes of Friction

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