Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Microturbines and Small Turbomachinery

Design, Fabrication, and Performance of Foil Gas Thrust Bearings for Microturbomachinery Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Brian Dykas

 US Army Research Laboratory, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, OH 44135

Robert Bruckner, Christopher DellaCorte, Brian Edmonds

 NASA Glenn Research Center 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, OH 44135

Joseph Prahl

 Case Western Reserve University 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 131(1), 012301 (Oct 01, 2008) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2966418 History: Received March 28, 2008; Revised April 08, 2008; Published October 01, 2008

A methodology for the design and construction of simple foil thrust bearings intended for parametric performance testing and low marginal costs is presented. Features drawn from a review of the open literature are discussed as they relate to bearing performance. The design of fixtures and tooling required to fabricate foil thrust bearings is presented, using conventional machining processes where possible. A prototype bearing with dimensions drawn from literature is constructed, with all fabrication steps described. A load-deflection curve for the bearing is presented to illustrate structural stiffness characteristics. Start-stop cycles are performed on the bearing at a temperature of 425°C to demonstrate early-life wear patterns. A test of bearing load capacity demonstrates useful performance when compared with data obtained from the open literature.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 5

Drawing of top foil blank (dimensions in millimeters)

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Figure 1

Typical geometry of a modern foil journal bearing

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Figure 2

Typical geometry of a modern foil thrust bearing

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Figure 3

Drawing of a bearing backing plate with foil-retaining slots (dimensions in millimeters)

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Figure 4

Sketch of top foil with hinged leading edge

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Figure 14

Wear pattern on top foil after start-stop cycling at high temperature

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Figure 15

Torque versus load at 23,000 rpm

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Figure 6

Drawing of bump foil blank (dimensions in millimeters)

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Figure 7

Drawing of bump foil die with radial channels (dimensions in millimeters)

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Figure 8

Drawing of bump foil die with indexed concentric rings

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Figure 9

Bump foil being formed in hydraulic press

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Figure 10

Bump foil and PTFE after forming

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Figure 11

Prototype bearing with one top foil removed

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Figure 12

Photograph of assembled prototype bearing after heat treatment of foils

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Figure 13

Load-deflection curve for prototype bearing



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