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J Chem Phys. 2016 Mar 28;144(12):124903. doi: 10.1063/1.4944384.

Soft matter dynamics: Accelerated fluid squeeze-out during slip.

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Pfisterer Kontaktsysteme GmbH, Rosenstra├če 44, 73650 Winterbach, Germany.
PGI-1, FZ J├╝lich, Germany.


Using a Leonardo da Vinci experimental setup (constant driving force), we study the dependency of lubricated rubber friction on the time of stationary contact and on the sliding distance. We slide rectangular rubber blocks on smooth polymer surfaces lubricated by glycerol or by a grease. We observe a remarkable effect: during stationary contact the lubricant is only very slowly removed from the rubber-polymer interface, while during slip it is very rapidly removed resulting (for the grease lubricated surface) in complete stop of motion after a short time period, corresponding to a slip distance typically of order only a few times the length of the rubber block in the sliding direction. For an elastically stiff material, poly(methyl methacrylate), we observe the opposite effect: the sliding speed increases with time (acceleration), and the lubricant film thickness appears to increase. We propose an explanation for the observed effect based on transient elastohydrodynamics, which may be relevant also for other soft contacts.


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