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The general lack of basic principles for designing reliable components for hydraulic pumps and motors requires a strategy of applying experience and full scale testing. Hydraulic pump and motor components are very sparsely lubricated though they are immersed in fluid. They therefore slide in “boundary lubrication,” a regime for which there are no methods for predicting, or even estimating product life or frictional performance. The testing of sub-components in bench tests or in accelerated tests produces new uncertainties since the role of the many variables that control wear and scuffing are not well known. The best design procedure involves full scale testing of components with all of the recirculating contaminants, vibrations, and misalignments included. These practical conditions are impossible to simulate adequately. Finally, the tests must be done by people (or groups) who have full knowledge of hydrodynamic lubrication, contact mechanics, wear mechanisms, and product applications.
hydraulic pumps, hydraulic motors, hydrodynamic lubrication, elastohydrodynamic lubrication, boundary lubrication, Stribeck curves, scuffing, asperities, wear, adhesion
Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Michigan, GGBrown Building, Ann Arbor, MI