In a typical aero engine bearing chamber, oil is introduced to lubricate and cool the bearings as well as the bearing chamber wall. The flow of the oil in the bearing chamber is very complex due to the presence of various forces: gravity, windage, capillary, etc. These pose a great challenge for designers, in particular on how to effectively and efficiently scavenge the hot oil out of the bearing chamber. The University of Nottingham Technology Centre in Gas Turbine Transmission Systems is conducting an ongoing experimental program on liquid and gas flow behavior in the highly rotating environment typically found in a bearing chamber. This paper presents results from a study of the thin film on the wall of a generic bearing chamber consisting of an inner rotating shaft and outer stationary cylindrical wall. Thin liquid film behavior in a cylindrical chamber, subject to only gravity or together with the presence of shearing air flow is of interest in many industrial applications and processes. Measurements of film thickness were taken at various axial and angular locations, at various representative inlet flow rates, scavenge ratios and shaft rotational speeds. The experimental data provides insight on the behavior of thin liquid film as it travels down the inner chamber wall subject to both gravity and shearing air flow and provides a data set eminently suitable for CFD validation. The film thickness measurements are discussed in relation to previously published chamber residence volume data [1].

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