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Unexpectedly low angular extent of journal bearing pressures: experiment and theory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-471
Number of pages17
JournalZeitschrift fur Angewandte Mathematik und Physik
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Journal bearings have been studied for a long time. Pressure solutions for the same, as presented in textbooks, typically have angular extents exceeding 150°. Here, for a bearing with a relatively larger clearance ratio (0.01 as opposed to, say, 0.001), our experiments show an angular extent of about 50° only. Such small angular extents cannot be predicted, even approximately, by the existing simple theories for journal bearing pressures. However, such theories are based on assumptions whereby only the relative speed between bearing and journal surfaces enters the governing equations. We discuss how these same assumptions motivate some new combinations of boundary conditions that allow reasonably simple numerical treatment. In this paper, the resulting families of possible solutions are computed semi-numerically using a Fourier series expansion in one direction and finite differences and numerical continuation in the other. We find that one such solution family contains small-extent solutions similar to those observed experimentally.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland