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research-article

MEASUREMENTS VERSUS PREDICTIONS FOR A HYBRID (HYDROSTATIC PLUS HYDRODYNAMIC) THRUST BEARING FOR A RANGE OF ORIFICE DIAMETERS

[+] Author and Article Information
Dara Childs

Leland T. Jordan Professor of Mechanical, Engineering, Turbomachinery Laboratory, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, United States
dchilds@tamu.edu

Paul Esser

Texas A&M University, M.S. Mechanical Engineering, May 2010, College Station, TX, United States
paul.r.esser@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042721 History: Received July 03, 2018; Revised January 15, 2019

Abstract

A fixed-geometry hybrid thrust bearing is investigated with 3 different supply-orifice diameters, (1.63, 1.80, and 1.93 mm). The test rig uses a face-to-face thrust bearing design. The test bearing acts as the rotor-loading mechanism. A hydraulic shaker applies the static axial load, which is reacted by a second (slave) thrust bearing. The rotor is supported radially by two water-lubricated journal bearings and is attached to a 30.6 krpm motor via a soft high-speed coupling. Thrust bearings are tested for a range of supply pressures (5.17, 10.34, 17.34 bars), fluid-film thicknesses, and speeds (7.5, 12.5, and 17.5 krpm). The test bearings have eight pockets, with centrally-located feed orifices in each pocket. Experimental results generally agree well withpredictions from a bulk-flow model. Thrust-bearing inlet supply and inner radius flow rates all decreased with decreasing orifice diameters and bearing axial clearances. In most cases, the bearings with larger orifice diameters exhibit higher recess pressure ratios, operating clearances, and flow rates. An optimum hybrid thrust bearing orifice diameter will depend on the conditions of individual applications. Larger orifices generally provide larger operating clearances and higher stiffnesses, but also require higher flow rates. For most applications, a compromise of bearing performance parameters will be desired. The test results and comparisons presented will aid in sizing orifice diameters for future hybrid thrust bearing designs and in validating and improving models and predictions.

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