Compressibility of Thin Film Lubricants Characterized Using Atomistic Simulation

A Martini and A Vadakkepatt, TRIBOLOGY LETTERS, 38, 33-38 (2010).

DOI: 10.1007/s11249-009-9568-6

Compressibility of thin lubricating films remains incompletely understood. Molecular dynamics simulations of a polymeric fluid confined in a nanoscale channel are used to investigate the effects of pressure and temperature on a thin film's response to compression. The observed trends are analyzed and compared to predictions of traditional, bulk fluid compressibility models. At ambient temperatures and pressures, molecular dynamics and bulk fluid models predict consistent trends for both the volume ratio and the bulk modulus. However, small deviations between the models suggest that molecular-scale confinement may, under some conditions, affect a fluid's compressibility such that it is not necessarily predictable using bulk fluid theories.

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