A High Pressure Flow Visualization Cell has been designed and constructed to perform a fundamental investigation of the deformation behavior of liquid lubricants under lubricated concentrated contact conditions. A pressure of 0.3 GPa and a shear stress between parallel plates of about 25 MPa has been demonstrated. Time averaged velocity profiles show no continuous slip either in the bulk or at walls. Localized slip at shear bands inclined to the walls was demonstrated to occur during nonlinear shear response. The number of shear bands increases with shear rate (and shear stress) from as few as one at the onset of non-Newtonian flow until the shear region is essentially filled with bands with a spatial periodicity of 7 μm. Bands are typically inclined 19 deg off the solid surfaces in a direction which reduces the compressive normal stress due to shear on the plane of the band.

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