The large success of Tilting Pad Journal Bearings (TPJBs) for the use in high speed/high load applications is due to their intrinsic stability properties, which allow superior rotor dynamic performances. TPJBs operation involves different physical phenomena, like the pads flexibility and the heat exchange between solids and fluids: an accurate analysis of these phenomena is fundamental in order to successfully employ TPJBs. In this paper, the authors, in cooperation with General Electric Nuovo Pignone, develop an innovative 3D TPJB modelling approach that allows an accurate analysis of the interactions between the fluid dynamic and thermal phenomena with the elastic behaviour of the solid components (ThermoElastoHydroDynamic analysis). The main objective of the proposed model is to provide accurate 3D results with low computational times. The TPJB model has been also experimentally validated, focusing on the thermal characteristics of the system and the interactions due to the TEHD behaviour of the bearing system.

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