Steady-state melt lubrication of two annular-thrust surfaces is investigated analytically and experimentally. Theoretical analysis shows that complete separation of the solid surfaces is possible and that the coefficients of friction are similar to those obtained in fluid film lubrication. Experimental tests, however, showed that complete separation does not occur and that the coefficients of friction were dependent on the rotational speed but four to six times the theoretical values. An interfacial model is proposed which is consistent with experimental results.

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