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The Influence of Surface Patterning on the Thermal Properties of Textured Thrust Bearings

[+] Author Affiliations
Gen Fu, Alexandrina Untaroiu

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. FEDSM2017-69356, pp. V01AT04A010; 10 pages
  • ASME 2017 Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting
  • Volume 1A, Symposia: Keynotes; Advances in Numerical Modeling for Turbomachinery Flow Optimization; Fluid Machinery; Industrial and Environmental Applications of Fluid Mechanics; Pumping Machinery
  • Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA, July 30–August 3, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5804-2
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Contact performance can be enhanced by using textured surfaces. These are also found to have influences on lubricated contacts. The effects of textured surface on lubricated contacts has been widely investigated over the past twenty years. The property of lubricated contacts has been found to play an important role on the performance of fluid film bearings. According to the previous study, the introduction of dimples on the inner surfaces of parallel thrust bearings can improve the load capacity and reduce the friction. Since the friction loss is mostly converted to thermal energy and then increase the temperature, textured surface is expected to have a positive effect on the thermal property of the thrust bearings. A procedure to find the optimal partially texture geometry, which minimize the temperature inside the bearing film, is presented in this study. A parallel sector-pad thrust bearing is simulated by a 3D computational fluid dynamics model. The stationary surface of the bearing is textured with dimples while the rotor surface is flat. The results of the baseline model have been validated by the experimental data from the literature. The temperature and pressure distribution on the bearing pad are presented. In this study, two types of dimples, including rectangular and elliptical, are compared together. A parametric study is conducted to investigate the influence of the texture geometries. In this study, the length of the major axis (width), the length of the minor axis (length), dimple depth, circumferential space between two dimples, radial space between two dimples, radial extend and circumferential extend are selected as design parameters. A surrogate model is used to reduce the computing time of CFD analysis. Based on the surrogate model, a multi-objective optimization scheme is used to navigate the design space and find the optimal texture structure that provides a lower maximal temperature inside the fluid film, higher load capacity, and lower friction torque. The optimal radial extent of the texture is around 80% of the pad radial length for both cases. The optimal length of the elliptical dimples in the circumferential direction is about 30% larger than the value of the rectangular dimples. In the final optimal design, the maximal temperature reduces 1.1% and 1.3% for rectangular and elliptical dimples while the load capacities are maintained at the same level.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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