The impact of convective fluid inertia forces on operation of tilting-pad journal bearings
This paper presents a combination of experimental data, CFD analyses, and bearing code predictions on emergence of convective inertia fluid forces within the lube oil flow of tilting-pad journal bearings. Concordantly, experimental data and CFD analyses show a significant rise of local pressure at the transition between inlet and leading edge of tilting-pad, especially for high-speed applications with surface speeds up to 100 m/s. This effect can be related to convective inertia forces within fluid flow as cross-sections and flow character rapidly change at the pad entrance. An energy-based approach is implemented in the bearing code in order to provide enhanced boundary conditions for Reynolds equation considering this effect. As a result, predictions of bearing code achieved significant improved correlation with measured pressure distributions and CFD-data. Further, beside the local influence, a nonnegligible impact on characteristic parameters of bearing operation such as maximum temperature and stiffness and damping coefficients is observed. Finally, the results are critically analyzed and requirements to gain more distinct and reliable data are specified.