Lubrication theory for Bingham plastics

Stefan G.E. Lampaert*, Ron A.J. van Ostayen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
131 Downloads (Pure)


The rheological behavior of many lubricants used in hydrodynamic bearings can reasonably be modeled using the Bingham plastic material model. This behavior is characterized by a strong discontinuity, from a pure solid state to a viscous fluid state depending on the local shear stress. In literature three methods have been presented to model a Bingham plastic lubricated film. A full CFD and thus expensive, numerical simulation has been used. A general Reynolds equation based simulation has been used, however with a less accurate numerical regularization of the material discontinuity. Or a general Reynolds equation based simulation has been used, but with a severe reduction of the geometric complexity. In this paper, an ’exact’ thin film lubrication simulation for a Bingham plastic fluid is presented. The model is said to be exact in the sense that it requires no additional approximations to those used in the derivation of the general Reynolds equation, and requires no numerical regularization of the Bingham plastic fluid model and can still be used on any lubricating film geometry. Simulations on both infinite and finite journal bearings shows that the results of this new method are in good accordance with literature, demonstrating the validity of the method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106160
Number of pages7
JournalTribology International
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Journal bearing
  • Non-Newtonian fluids
  • Rheology
  • Smart fluids


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