Theoretical and experimental studies of hydrodynamically lubricated bearings with a soft, compliant surface have shown advantages over conventionally rigid bearings. These bearings operate in the isoviscous, elastohydrodynamic regime of thin film lubrication with low film pressures and relatively large surface deflections. They exhibit less sensitivity to misalignment, particulates in the lubricant, and low levels of lubricant, making them very attractive for bearing designers. However, there is very little published work, either experimental or theoretical, to describe the squeeze-film lubrication behavior of a bearing with a compliant layer. This thesis utilizes a Nodal Inverse Hydrodynamic computation approach to calculate the behavior of a squeeze-film between an axisymmetric rigid indenter with a paraboloid or conical profile and a thin, soft, linearly elastic layer. The computed results are compared with previously published experimental data to validate this approach. Nondimensional design charts are presented to give guidelines for bearing designers.
Mechanical Engineering (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)
Heisey, Eli, "Axisymmetric Soft Elastohydrodynamic Squeeze Films: Parametric Studies" (2022). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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