Some Factors Affecting the Design of Spring Supported Thrust Bearings in Hydroelectric Generators

[+] Author and Article Information
C. M. Ettles

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering & Mechanics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590

J. Tribol 113(3), 626-632 (Jul 01, 1991) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2920670 History: Received March 09, 1990; Revised June 15, 1990; Online June 05, 2008


A size effect exists for thrust bearings, requiring increasing attention to the control of deformation as the size is increased. One method of controlling deformation is to mount the pad on a set of closely packed springs. The extent (or proportional area) of spring support is important for thin pads. Support over the whole back face of the pad causes a concavity due to elastic deformation. The bearing must then run sufficiently hot so that this is countered by thermal deformation, which always acts to produce a convexity. The effects on performance of pad thickness, the thermal gradient in the pad and the extent and pattern of the springs is described. Two case studies are presented using a 3-D thermoelastic analysis. The use of comparatively thick pads is recommended.

Copyright © 1991 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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