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Ultrasonic reflection from mixed liquid-solid contacts and the determination of interface stiffness

By M. Gonzalez-Valadez, R.S. Dwyer-Joyce and R. Lewis


In thin film or boundary lubricated contacts there is a possibility of potentially damaging asperity contact occurring. Whilst there are many models of this contact mechanism, experimental verification of the proportion of solid contact is difficult to achieve. Electrical methods will only indicate that contact has occurred. Whereas, optical methods can be used to determine the proportion of contact, but only when one surface is transparent. In this work the use of ultrasonic reflection is investigated as a means to analyse these types of mixed solid-liquid contacts. A pulse of ultrasound is partially reflected at the contact between two rough surfaces. The proportion of the wave reflected can be readily used to determine the stiffness of the interface. Experimental data has been obtained from grit-blasted surfaces pressed together, both with and without liquid at the interface. The interface stiffness can be modelled by two springs in series, one of them representing the solid contact stiffness, Ksolid and the other the stiffness of the liquid fluid, Kliquid. The variation of these stiffness values with contact pressure has been investigated. At this stage it is not possible to directly determine the proportion of liquid or solid contact from the stiffness. The results however, give qualitative comparisons and information about the approach of the surfaces and hence the mean thickness of the liquid layer at the interface

Publisher: Elsevier Science B.V.
Year: 2005
OAI identifier:

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