ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0156.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: Hydrostatic bearings; Journal bearings; Static load characteristics; Measurements; Predictions
Online: 8 August 2022 (10:57:53 CEST)
Hydrostatic bearings for liquid rocket engine turbopumps provide distinctive advantages including high load capacity even with low viscosity cryogenic fluid and extending a life span by minimizing friction and wear between rotor and bearing surfaces. Application of hydrostatic bearings into turbopumps demands reliable test data base with well-quantified operating parameters and experimentally validated accurate performance predictive tools. The present paper shows the comprehensive experimental data and validation of predicted static load characteristics of hydrostatic journal bearings lubricated with air, water, and liquid nitrogen. Extensive experiments for static load characteristics of hydrostatic bearings are conducted using a turbopump rotor-bearing system simulator while increasing supply pressure (Ps) into the test bearings. The test results demonstrate notable effects of the test fluids and their temperatures, as well as Ps, on the bearing performance. In general, the measured bearing flow rate, rotor displacement, and stiffness of the test bearings steadily increase with Ps. The static load bearing characteristics predictions considering flow turbulence and compressibility matched well with the experimental results. The work with an independent test data and engineering computational programs will further the implementation of hydrostatic bearings in high performance turbopump shaft systems with improved efficiency and enhanced reusability of liquid rocket engine sub-systems.