An Investigation Into Laminar-to-Turbulent Transition in Tilting-Pad Bearings

[+] Author and Article Information
G. E. Innes

Institute of Tribology, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, United Kingdom

H. J. Leutheusser

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A4, Canada

J. Tribol 113(2), 303-307 (Apr 01, 1991) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2920620 History: Received July 06, 1989; Revised September 14, 1990; Online June 05, 2008


It has long been known that superlaminar flow occurs in lubrication fluid films above a critical speed. The consequence of the transition from laminar to superlaminar flow is an increase in power losses, with corresponding changes in heat generation and operating costs. While a formula exists to predict the onset of superlaminar flow for hydrodynamic journal bearings, there is no clear criterion for the transition in tilting-pad thrust bearings. The paper describes a detailed investigation, performed on a large-scale model of a single tilting-pad, to obtain fundamental information on the transition phenomenon. Based on this work a lower critical Reynolds number of laminar-to-turbulent transition is proposed.

Copyright © 1991 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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