Research Papers: Hydrodynamic Lubrication

Tribological Study of a Slider Bearing in the Supersonic Regime

[+] Author and Article Information
Florence Dupuy

Liebherr Aerospace Toulouse,
408 Avenue des Etats Unis,
Toulouse Cedex 2 31016, France;
Université de Lyon,
INSA Lyon,
LaMCoS URM5259,
Villeurbanne F-69621, France

Benyebka Bou-Saïd

Université de Lyon,
LaMCoS URM5259,
Villeurbanne F-69621, France

Mathieu Garcia, Grégory Grau, Jérôme Rocchi, Matthieu Crespo

Liebherr Aerospace Toulouse,
408 avenue des Etats Unis,
Toulouse Cedex 2 31016, France

John Tichy

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
Troy, NY 12180

Contributed by the Tribology Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TRIBOLOGY. Manuscript received June 18, 2015; final manuscript received March 8, 2016; published online July 8, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Mihai Arghir.

J. Tribol 138(4), 041702 (Jul 08, 2016) (9 pages) Paper No: TRIB-15-1213; doi: 10.1115/1.4033417 History: Received June 18, 2015; Revised March 08, 2016

Aerodynamic slider bearings are currently used in various types of turbomachinery. Many such systems perform at increasingly faster speeds and may operate in the supersonic regime. Although there is extensive research on compressible lubrication extrapolated to high-speeds, very little of it addresses the potential supersonic nature of the flow. It is well known in compressible flow that many of the tendencies of subsonic flow actually reverse themselves as the singularity at Mach one is traversed. Thus, examination of this high-speed regime may yield some unanticipated results. The behavior of a thin film of air in the supersonic regime is studied in the two-dimensional flow case with rigid sliding surfaces. The one-dimensional bearing studied has a dual profile consisting of an inlet region converging wedge of constant slope and an exit region of constant gap. Two approaches are compared: the solution of a modified Reynolds equation, and the solution to a version of Navier–Stokes equations adapted to thin films. The results show that the modified Reynolds equation approach, which is useful to describe the behavior of lubricating fluids at high subsonic speeds may be inadequate in the supersonic regime. The present studies show the absence of shock and expansion wave phenomena for cases in which the film thickness ratio does not exceed 0.01.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the dual profile air slider bearing

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Fig. 2

Schematic configuration of the bearing double profile and mesh

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Fig. 3

Turbulent flow simulation: isothermal and noninertial conditions

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Fig. 4

Turbulent flow simulation: isothermal with fluid inertia

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Fig. 5

Turbulent flow simulation with fluid inertia, pressure, and temperature

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Fig. 6

Direction change at the wall creating shock or expansion behavior

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Fig. 7

Comparison of results of the two methods, minimum gap = 60 μm

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Fig. 8

(a) Temperature fields for the Reynolds (left) and Navier–Stokes (right) formulations (b) Mach number fields for the Reynolds (left) and Navier–Stokes (right) formulations




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