The lubrication properties of a series of multiphase water-based fluids of complex rheology and microstructure, including o/w emulsions, have been studied in a rolling-sliding steel ball-on-elastomer flat contact. The results show that friction curves of Newtonian fluids made over a wide range of entrainment speeds and viscosity can be used to identify the prevailing mechanisms of lubrication for more complex fluids and, for emulsions, to show the predominant film-forming phase.

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