Dynamic lubrication analysis for a spherical pump

Dong Guan, Li Jing, Harry H. Hilton, Junjie Gong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dynamic lubrication analyses for a spherical pump, consisting of a piston and cylinder, are presented. Contact forces between piston and cylinder are modeled first using an equivalent ball-on-plane model. Both the effects of external loads and operating conditions are considered in a dynamic elastohydrodynamic lubrication model, which is derived from Reynolds equation. Two assumed time-dependent sine-wave and square-wave loads are applied to the model. Fluid film thicknesses are estimated using the model and assumed loads, effects of different structural, and operational parameters, such as piston diameter, radial clearance, applied load, piston speed, lubricant viscosity, and surface roughness, on fluid film thickness are investigated. Fluid film thickness reactions of more realistic smooth and continuous sine wave loads are compared to discontinuous ones in order to verify whether or not assumed ideal loads are acceptable and reliable. Results indicate that piston diameter, speed, lubricant viscosity have positive relations on the dynamic lubrication performance, and increasing these values can improve the dynamic lubrication regime. While the parameters such as radial clearance, applied load, and surface roughness have the verse effects. Furthermore, the impacts of all the above parameters on fluid film are different either. These obtained results can be used to effectively optimize spherical pump lubrication performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-29
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part J: Journal of Engineering Tribology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • dynamic lubrication
  • fluid film thickness
  • Spherical pump
  • surface roughness
  • tribology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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