The effects of surface kinematic conditions on micro-elastohydrodynamic lubrication (micro-EHL) are investigated under rolling and/or sliding point contact conditions using the optical interferometry technique. A long bump of chromium sputtered on the surface of a highly polished ball is used as a model asperity. It is shown that the film thickness distribution or the elastic deformation of the bump is influenced significantly by the surface kinematic conditions and the orientation of the bump. An interesting phenomenon is also found when contacting surfaces move with different speeds; the thin film formed on a transversely oriented bump existing at the entrance of the contact travels through the contact region at the average speed of the surfaces. The experimental results obtained qualitatively confirm published numerical simulations.

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