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research-article

Methodology of Turbulence Parameter Correction in Water-Lubricated Thrust Bearings

[+] Author and Article Information
Xin Deng

ASME membership, Rotating Machinery and Controls (ROMAC) Lab, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
xd9fw@virginia.edu

Harrison Gates

ASME membership, Rotating Machinery and Controls (ROMAC) Lab, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
hrg9aa@virginia.edu

Roger Fittro

ASME membership, Rotating Machinery and Controls (ROMAC) Lab, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
rlf9w@virginia.edu

Houston G. Wood

ASME membership, Rotating Machinery and Controls (ROMAC) Lab, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
hgw9p@virginia.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042161 History: Received July 02, 2018; Revised November 26, 2018

Abstract

Oil-lubricated bearings are widely used in high speed rotating machines. However, environmental issues and risk-averse operations are resulting in the removal of oil and the replacement of all sealed oil bearings with reliable water-lubricated bearings. The low viscosity of water increases Reynolds numbers drastically and therefore makes water-lubricated bearings prone to turbulence effects. This requires finer meshes when compared to oil-lubricated bearings as the low-viscosity fluid produces a very thin lubricant film. Analyzing water-lubricated bearings can also produce convergence and accuracy issues in traditional oil-based analysis codes. Fitting the velocity profile with experiments has a y^+ in the range of 0 - 1,000, resulting in Ng-optimized constants k and d^+. The definition of y^+ can be used to approximate the first layer thickness calculated for a uniform mesh. On the condition that the y^+ is fixed to that of oil bearings for which an oil-bearing code was validated, the number of elements across the film thickness and coefficients used in the eddy-viscosity equation can be adjusted to allow for convergence with other fluids other than that which the traditional oil bearing code was designed for. This study proposed a new methodology to preserve the y+ value to make water-lubricated thrust bearing models valid. A method for determining the required number of cross-film elements in water-lubricated bearings was found. The results of this study could aid in improving future designs and models of water-lubricated bearings.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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