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Lubricating grease Experiments and modeling of wall-bounded- and free-surface flows
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Machine Elements.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Lubricating grease is commonly applied to lubricate e.g. rolling bearings, sealsand gears. Grease has some clear advantages over lubricating oil: it is a semisolidmaterial, which prevents it from flowing/ leaking out from the bearingsystem and gives it sealing properties, and it also protects the system fromcontaminants and corrosion. Due to its consistency, lubricating grease has manyadditional advantages over lubricating oil: it does not require pumps, filters andsumps. However, the rheology of grease makes it more difficult to measure andstudy its flow dynamics. This study focuses on the influence of rheology ongrease flow in different geometries involving a straight channel with restrictions,concentric cylinder geometry, and free-surface flow on a rotating disc.To better understand grease flow in bearings and seals, two types of flowrestrictions were applied into the straight channel in order to simulate the flowof grease near a seal pocket. In the case of a single restriction, the horizontaldistance required for the velocity profile to fully develop is approximately thesame as the height of the channel. In the corner before and after the restriction,the velocities are very low and part of the grease is stationary. For the channelwith two flow restrictions, this effect is even more pronounced in the narrowspace between the restrictions. Clearly, a large part of the grease is not moving.This condition particularly applies in the case of a low-pressure gradient andwhere high-consistency grease is used. In practice this means that grease may belocally trapped and consequently old/contaminated grease will remain in theseal pockets.A configuration comprising a rotating shaft and two narrow gap sealing-likerestrictions (also called Double Restriction Seal, DRS) was designed to simulatea sealing contact. Two different gap heights in the DRS have been used tocompare the grease flow. It is shown that partially yielded grease flow isdetected in the large gap geometry and fully yielded grease flow in the small gapgeometry. For the small gap geometry, it is shown that three distinct grease flowregions are present: a slip layer close to the stationary wall, a bulk flow layer,and a slip layer near the rotating shaft. The shear thinning behaviour of thegrease and its wall slip effects have been determined and discussed.Free-surface flow of grease occurs in a variety of situations such as during relubrication and inside a rolling element bearing which is filled to about 30%with grease in order to prevent heavy churning. Here the reflow of lubricant tothe bearing races is a key point in the lubricant film build-up, and centrifugalforces have a direct impact on the amount of available grease. Understanding ofthe free-surface flow behaviour of grease is hence important for theunderstanding of the lubrication mechanism. Adhesion and mass loss aremeasured for greases with different rheology on different surfaces andtemperatures. It is shown that the critical speed at which the grease starts tomove is mostly determined by grease type, yield stress and temperature ratherthan surface material. A developed analytical model covers a stationary analysisof the flow resulting in solutions for the velocity profile of the grease as well as asolution for the thickness of the viscous layer remaining on the disc.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå tekniska universitet, 2014.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
National Category
Tribology
Research subject
Machine Elements
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-26489Local ID: e7ead4f7-2234-4504-b3bb-571f7a09ba21ISBN: 978-91-7583-145-9 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7583-146-6 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-26489DiVA: diva2:999651
Note
Godkänd; 2014; 20141017 (jinlit); Nedanstående person kommer att disputera för avläggande av teknologie doktorsexamen. Namn: Jinxia Li Ämne: Maskinelement/Machine Elements Avhandling: Lubricating Grease Experiments and Modellingo f Wall-Bounded and Free-Surface Flours Opponent: Professor Arto Lehtovaara, University of Technology, Tampere, Finland Ordförande: Professor Erik Höglund, Institutionen för teknikvetenskap och matematik, Luleå tekniska universitet Tid: Fredag den 19 december 2014, kl 09.00 Plats: E632, Luleå tekniska universitetAvailable from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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