Performance Improvement of tilting-pad journal bearings by means of controllable lubrication

Alejandro Cerda, Ilmar Santos

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Tilting-Pad Journal Bearings (TPJB) are commonly used on high-performance turbomachinery due to their excellent stability properties at high speed when compared to other designs for oil film bearings. Hence, efforts have been made to improve the accuracy for the available models for these mechanical devices, achieving nowadays an elasto-thermo-hydrodynamic formulation. On the other hand, the basic design of the Tilting-Pad Journal Bearing has been modified in order to transform it into a smart machine element. One approach to do so is to inject pressurized oil directly into the bearing clearance through holes drilled across the bearing pads. By adjusting the injection pressure, it is possible to modify the dynamic characteristics of the bearing. A controllable lubrication regime is obtained, allowing to expand the operational boundaries of the original design. This work focuses on presenting an elasto-thermo-hydrodynamic model (ETHD) for the Tilting-Pad Journal Bearing, including the effect of the controllable lubrication system. The basic model is validated by comparing its results against theoretical and experimental results available in the literature. Then, the validated code is used to show the benefits of applying a controllable lubrication regime, by means of the modification of the thermal and dynamic behaviour of the bearing.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMechanics & Industry
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)17-32
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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