Transient behavior of elastohydrodynamic (EHL) films caused by a transversely oriented groove passing through the EHL conjunction is directly observed using the optical interferometry technique. A steel ball on which the groove is formed is run against a smooth glass disk under conditions of rolling with sliding. It is shown that a local reduction in film thickness caused by the groove and its recovery depend strongly on shear flow dominating the EHL conjunction and side leakage along the groove. Surface kinematic conditions and the relative size of the groove with respect to the overall film thickness have also profound effects on the above phenomena.

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