Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Structures and Dynamics

Transient Thermal Modeling of Ball Bearing Using Finite Element Method

[+] Author and Article Information
Thierry Sibilli

Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd. & Co. KG,
11 Eschenweg, Dahlewitz,
Blankenfelde-Mahlow 15827, Germany
e-mail: thierry.sibilli@pusan.ac.kr

Uyioghosa Igie

School of Aerospace
Transport and Manufacturing,
Cranfield University,
Cranfield MK43 0AL, Bedfordshire, UK

1Present address: Rolls-Royce UTC in Thermal Management, School of Mechanical Engineering, Pusan National University, 30 Jangjeon-Dong, Geumjeong-Gu, Busan 609-735, South Korea.

Contributed by the Structures and Dynamics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received June 19, 2016; final manuscript received July 11, 2017; published online October 17, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Jerzy T. Sawicki.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 140(3), 032501 (Oct 17, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: GTP-16-1232; doi: 10.1115/1.4037861 History: Received June 19, 2016; Revised July 11, 2017

Gas turbines are fitted with rolling element bearings, which transfer loads and supports the shafts. The interaction between the rotating and stationary parts in the bearing causes a conversion of some of the power into heat, influencing the thermal behavior of the entire bearing chamber. To improve thermal modeling of bearing chambers, this work focused on modeling of the heat generated and dissipated around the bearings, in terms of magnitude and location, and the interaction with the components/systems in the bearing chamber. A thermal network (TN) model and a finite element (FE) model of an experimental high-pressure shaft ball bearing and housing were generated and a comparison to test rig results have been conducted. Nevertheless, the purpose of the thermal matching process that focused on the FE model and experimental data is to provide a template for predicting temperatures and heat transfers for other bearing models. The result of the analysis shows that the predictions of the TN are considerate, despite the simplifications. However, lower relative errors were obtained in the FE model compared to the TN model. For both methods, the highest relative error is seen to occur during transient (acceleration and deceleration). This observation highlights the importance of boundary conditions and definitions: surrounding temperatures, heat split and the oil flow, influencing both the heat transfer and heat generation. These aspects, incorporated in the modeling and benchmarked with experimental data, can help facilitate other related cases where there is limited or no experimental data for validation.

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Fig. 1

Framework of the study

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Fig. 2

Thermocouple positions around the ball bearing

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Fig. 3

Node locations on bearing chamber and thermal network

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Fig. 4

Thermal exchange at R12

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Fig. 5

Experimental and TNM dimensionless metal temperature in M11 location

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Fig. 6

Experimental and TNM dimensionless metal temperature in M21 location

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Fig. 7

Error between experimental and TNM temperature in M11 and M21 locations

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Fig. 8

Oil flows around the bearing

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Fig. 9

Thermal BCs around the bearing

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Fig. 10

Experimental and FEM dimensionless metal temperatures in M11 location

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Fig. 11

Experimental and FE model dimensionless metal temperatures in M21 location

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Fig. 12

Experimental and FEM dimensionless metal temperatures in M22 location

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Fig. 13

Error between experimental and FEM temperatures in M11, M21, and M22 location




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