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research-article

STATIC LOAD PERFORMANCE OF A WATER LUBRICATED HYDROSTATIC THRUST BEARING

[+] Author and Article Information
Michael A Rohmer

Machinery Engineer, ExxonMobil Research & Engineering, Spring, TX 77389, USA
michael.a.rohmer@exxonmobil.com

Luis San Andres

Mast-Childs Chair Professor, Fellow ASME, Mechanical Engineering Dept. Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
lsanandres@tamu.edu

Scott M Wilkinson

Research Assistant, Mechanical Engineering Dept. Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
wilk1847@tamu.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038472 History: Received July 31, 2017; Revised September 11, 2017

Abstract

This paper details a water lubricated test rig for measurement of the performance of hydrostatic thrust bearings (HTBs). The rig contains two water lubricated HTBs (105 mm outer diameter), one is the test bearing and the other a slave bearing. Both bearings face the outer side of thrust collars of a rotor. The paper shows measurements of HTB axial clearance, flow rate, and recess pressure for operation with increasing static load (max. 1.4 bar) and supply pressure (max. 4.14 bar) at a rotor speed of 3 krpm (12 m/s OD speed). Severe angular misalignment, static and dynamic, of the bearing surface against its collar persisted and affected all measurements. The HTB axial clearance increases as the supply pressure increases and decreases quickly as the applied load increases. The reduction in clearance increases the flow resistance across the film lands thus reducing the through flow rate with an increase in recess pressure. In addition, an estimated bearing axial stiffness increases as the operating clearance decreases and as the supply pressure increases. Predictions from a bulk flow model qualitatively agree with the measurements. Alas they are not accurate enough. The differences likely stem from the inordinate tilts (static and dynamic) as well as the flow condition. The test HTB operates in a flow regime that spans from laminar to incipient turbulent. Quantification of misalignment at all operating conditions is presently a routine practice during operation of the test rig.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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