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Analysis on the steady state performance of a multi pad externally adjustable fluid film bearing

Girish Hariharan (Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, India)
Raghuvir Pai (Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, India)

Industrial Lubrication and Tribology

ISSN: 0036-8792

Article publication date: 7 May 2019

Issue publication date: 22 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the performance characteristics of an externally adjustable bearing with multiple pads in steady state conditions. The proposed adjustable bearing geometry can effectively control the hydrodynamic operation in bearing clearances by adjusting the pads in radial and tilt directions. These pad adjustments have a significant role in improving the bearing characteristics such as load capacity, attitude angle, side leakage, friction variable and Sommerfeld number, which will be analysed in this paper.

Design/methodology/approach

The adjustable bearing is designed with circumferentially spaced four bearing pads subjected to similar radial and tilt adjustments. Tilt angles are applied along the leading edges of bearing pads. A modified film thickness equation is used to incorporate the pad adjustments and accurately predict the variation in film profile. Finite difference approximation is adopted to solve the Reynolds equation and discretize the fluid film domain.

Findings

For negative radial and tilt adjustments, higher hydrodynamic pressures are generated in bearing clearances, which increases the bearing load capacity at different eccentricity ratios. From comparative analysis for different pad adjustments, superior bearing performance is observed for bearing pads under negative radial and negative tilt adjustments.

Originality/value

This research presents a detailed theoretical approach to analyse the performance capability of a four pad adjustable bearing geometry, which is not available in literatures. Improved bearing performances with negative pad adjustments can attract bearing designers to implement the proposed adjustability-bearing concept in rotating machineries.

Keywords

Citation

Hariharan, G. and Pai, R. (2019), "Analysis on the steady state performance of a multi pad externally adjustable fluid film bearing", Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, Vol. 71 No. 6, pp. 803-809. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILT-10-2018-0371

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited