The aim of the present research is to characterize both experimentally and numerically journal bearings with low radial clearances for rotors in small-scale applications (e.g., microgas turbines); their diameter is in the order of ten millimetres, leading to very small dimensional clearances when the typical relative ones (order of 1/1000) are employed; investigating this particular class of journal bearings under static and dynamic loading conditions represents something unexplored. To this goal, a suitable test rig was designed and the performance of its bearings was investigated under steady load. For the sake of comparison, numerical simulations of the lubrication were also performed by means of a simplified model. The original test rig adopted is a commercial rotor kit (RK), but substantial modifications were carried out in order to allow significant measurements. Indeed, the relative radial clearance of RK4 RK bearings is about 2/100, while it is around 1/1000 in industrial bearings. Therefore, the same original RK bearings are employed in this new test rig, but a new shaft was designed to reduce their original clearance. The new custom shaft allows to study bearing behaviour for different clearances, since it is equipped with interchangeable journals. Experimental data obtained by this test rig are then compared with further results of more sophisticated simulations. They were carried out by means of an in-house developed finite element (FEM) code, suitable for thermoelasto-hydrodynamic (TEHD) analysis of journal bearings both in static and dynamic conditions. In this paper, bearing static performances are studied to assess the reliability of the experimental journal location predictions by comparing them with the ones coming from already validated numerical codes. Such comparisons are presented both for large and small clearance bearings of original and modified RKs, respectively. Good agreement is found only for the modified RK equipped with small clearance bearings (relative radial clearance 8/1000), as expected. In comparison with two-dimensional lubrication analysis, three-dimensional simulation improves prediction of journal location and correlation with experimental results.

Experimental and numerical investigation about small clearance journal bearings under static load conditions

Stefani F.;Silvestri P.
2020

Abstract

The aim of the present research is to characterize both experimentally and numerically journal bearings with low radial clearances for rotors in small-scale applications (e.g., microgas turbines); their diameter is in the order of ten millimetres, leading to very small dimensional clearances when the typical relative ones (order of 1/1000) are employed; investigating this particular class of journal bearings under static and dynamic loading conditions represents something unexplored. To this goal, a suitable test rig was designed and the performance of its bearings was investigated under steady load. For the sake of comparison, numerical simulations of the lubrication were also performed by means of a simplified model. The original test rig adopted is a commercial rotor kit (RK), but substantial modifications were carried out in order to allow significant measurements. Indeed, the relative radial clearance of RK4 RK bearings is about 2/100, while it is around 1/1000 in industrial bearings. Therefore, the same original RK bearings are employed in this new test rig, but a new shaft was designed to reduce their original clearance. The new custom shaft allows to study bearing behaviour for different clearances, since it is equipped with interchangeable journals. Experimental data obtained by this test rig are then compared with further results of more sophisticated simulations. They were carried out by means of an in-house developed finite element (FEM) code, suitable for thermoelasto-hydrodynamic (TEHD) analysis of journal bearings both in static and dynamic conditions. In this paper, bearing static performances are studied to assess the reliability of the experimental journal location predictions by comparing them with the ones coming from already validated numerical codes. Such comparisons are presented both for large and small clearance bearings of original and modified RKs, respectively. Good agreement is found only for the modified RK equipped with small clearance bearings (relative radial clearance 8/1000), as expected. In comparison with two-dimensional lubrication analysis, three-dimensional simulation improves prediction of journal location and correlation with experimental results.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1035191
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