We have measured the separation and central pressure of a slightly concave axially symmetric pressurized bearing as a function of lubricant (air) mass flux and bearing load. We find that a mean face slope of 1.6 × 10−3 makes a dramatic difference in the behavior of the bearing, reducing the central pressure by more than a factor of two and eliminating the need for overpressures to start the system. We have also explored the behavior of the system analytically and find excellent agreement between theory and experiment.

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