The Development of a High Speed Solid/Powder Lubricated Auxiliary Bearing

Kaur, R.G. and Heshmat, H. “The Development of a High Speed Solid/Powder Lubricated Auxiliary Bearing,” (2001) Proceedings of the International Tribology Conference, Nagasaki, 2000, Japanese Society of Tribologists, Volume II, pp. 1191-1196

Self-Contained Auxiliary Bearings are needed for magnetic bearing supported rotors in space mechanisms, Flywheel Energy Storage Systems, Auxiliary and Integrated Power Units and Gas Turbine Engines.  A state of the art technology of a high speed, self-acting, solid/powder lubricated journal bearing was recently tested up to a record breaking DN value of 3 million (DN = shaft diameter in mm x speed in rpm).  The two major technology components for this system were the powder pelletized lubricant delivery system and the 100mm diameter prototype journal bearing.  The prototype bearing was tested in a magnetically suspended rotor bearing test rig.  The tests conducted on this prototype bearing were short duration low speed testing, high speed testing and transient shock testing.  The acquired test data spanned the range of the expected operating conditions, including lubricant feed rate, baring temperatures and operational dynamic performance, thus, validating the design analysis of the bearing and lubricant delivery system. 

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