Advanced Development of Air-Lubricated Foil Thrust Bearings

Heshmat, H. and Shapiro, W. “Advanced Development of Air-Lubricated Foil Thrust Bearings, ” (1982) ASLE Paper, 6 p., (1984) Lubrication Engineering, Volume 40 (1), pp. 21-26.

Foil bearings offer many advantages for process-fluid lubrication of high-speed rotating machinery.  They are stable at high speeds, can accept high-temperature operating environments, can accommodate shock and vibration, and are reasonably simple and cost effective to produce.  Some applications include aircraft air-cycle machines and advanced automotive gas turbines.  This paper discusses some recent developments to improve load capacity of gas-lubricated foil thrust bearings.  Two separate design configurations are presented along with test results obtained from a high-speed test rig. 

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