On the Development of Self-Acting and Self-Contained Powder Lubricated Auxiliary Bearing

Kaur, R.G. and Heshmat, H. “On the Development of Self-Acting and Self-Contained Powder Lubricated Auxiliary Bearing,” 2000 ASME/STLE Joint Conference, Nashville, Tennessee

This paper describes the operation of a self-acting, self-acting, self-contained, solid/powder-lubricated, high-speed journal bearing, which has been successfully tested to 3 million DN for the first time.  This operational milestone of 3 MDN is a major breakthrough in the development of solid lubricated bearings.  Impetus behind this development is the necessity for high performance auxiliary bearing systems in magnetic bearing supported rotors in space mechanisms, flywheel energy storage systems, auxiliary and integrated power units and gas turbine engines.  The two major technology components, are, the pelletized powder lubricant delivery system and the powder lubricated journal baring design.  Using the established criteria, powder materials suitable for the expected operating environments were reviewed.  The selected powder lubricant properties and the design tool were used to fabricate the powder pellets and design the 100 mm diameter powder lubricated bearing; which was tested in a magnetically suspended rotor bearing test rig.  The following tests were conducted on this powder lubricated bearing: short duration testing at low speeds, transient shock testing (simulating magnetic bearing failure), high speed testing and lubricant starvation testing.  the acquired results spanned the range of the expected operating conditions, including lubricant feed rate, bearing temperatures and operational dynamic performance, clearly validating the lubricant delivery system and the overall powder lubricated bearing design analysis. 


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