An Investigation Into the Influence of Fluid Viscoelasticity in a Squeeze Film Bearing

[+] Author and Article Information
John A. Tichy

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering & Mechanics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N. Y.

Ward O. Winer

School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga.

J. of Lubrication Tech 100(1), 56-64 (Jan 01, 1978) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3453113 History: Received July 06, 1977; Online October 20, 2010


This investigation concerns a prediction of the behavior of viscoelastic fluids in a parallel circular squeeze film with a constant approach velocity, and a comparison to experimental results. The squeeze film geometry has direct application to unsteady hydrodynamic lubrication. The analysis predicts that load capacity of a viscoelastic fluid may be increased due to normal stress effects or decreased due to a delayed response of shear stress to a change in shear rate. Ten tested fluids include Newtonian control fluids, silicone fluids, high molecular weight polymers in petroleum oils, and extremely high molecular weight polymers in water and glycerin. The experimental squeezing is accomplished by the free fall of a cylindrical steel rod along its axis toward a stationary opposing surface. Film thickness, velocity of approach and load are measured. The velocity of approach is essentially constant in the range of film thickness considered. The water-glycerin-polymer solutions exhibited load capacity increases up to 33 percent, while the petroleum-polymer and silicone fluids showed decreases to 23 percent. It appears that viscoelastic effects cannot account for the reported improved bearing performance of polymer-additive lubricants.

Copyright © 1978 by ASME
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