FRICTION IN A LOW-LOAD SLIDING CONTACT
Jian Huei CHOO
Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
Abstract. In this research, a novel tribometer capable of measuring low friction and load has been employed to measure friction in a pure sliding contact in hydrodynamic lubrication conditions. The tribometer was custom-built at the Tribology Section, Imperial College specifically for measuring friction at loads usually found in Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS). It allowed the authors to investigate the feasibility of using liquid slip for the lubrication of MEMS. The work described here represents the first stage of the research undertaken by the authors to ascertain the behaviour of the tribometer, and to detect the presence of liquid slip, if any, in a lubricated low-load contact between two untreated glass surfaces. Experiments were conducted for both line and point contacts at sliding speeds ranging from 200 mm/s up to 3 m/s, and loads less than 0.5 N. The ability to measure friction at such low loads complements existing tribological techniques and instruments and extends our understanding of the interaction between surfaces at ever decreasing contact forces.
Keywords: hydrodynamic lubrication, friction, low load, tribometer, MEMS