Volume 88, Number 4, November 2009
Article Number 48003
Number of page(s) 6
Section Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology
Published online 26 November 2009
EPL, 88 (2009) 48003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/88/48003

Kinetics of stick-slip friction in boundary lubrication

O. M. Braun1, 2 and E. Tosatti2, 3, 4

1   Institute of Physics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine - 46 Science Avenue, 03028 Kiev, Ukraine
2   International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) - Via Beirut 2-4, I-34014 Trieste, Italy, EU
3   CNR-INFM Democritos National Simulation Center - Via Beirut 2-4, I-34014 Trieste, Italy, EU
4   International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) - P.O. Box 586, I-34014 Trieste, Italy, EU

received 4 June 2009; accepted in final form 30 October 2009; published November 2009
published online 26 November 2009

We show that new important features are brought to the kinetics and dynamics of frictional stick-slip motion in an earthquakelike model of boundary lubrication by introducing a distribution of static breaking thresholds of individual contacts. In particular the condition for elastic instability and details of the slip motion are heavily affected. Among the novel emerging properties is the role of other parameters such as the delay time of contact reforming, the strength of elastic interaction between the contacts, and the elasticity of the contacts and of the slider. We simulate the model dynamics, choosing parameters appropriate to describe a recent surface force apparatus experiment (KLEIN J., Phys. Rev. Lett.98 (2007) 056101) whose results are now explained with a totally normal boundary lubricant film viscosity.

81.40.Pq - Friction, lubrication, and wear.
46.55.+d - Tribology and mechanical contacts.
61.72.Hh - Indirect evidence of dislocations and other defects (resistivity, slip, creep, strains, internal friction, EPR, NMR, etc.).

© EPLA 2009