A large tilting-pad journal bearing (TPJB) with “PEEK” polymer-lined pads was tested over a range of operating conditions representative of those experienced on turbogenerators used in fossil fuel power plants. The 500 mm diameter test-bearing has four offset-pivot pads, ball and socket pivots, load-between-pivot configuration, directed lubrication and hydrostatic jacking features. The operating conditions explored during the test campaign characterize the static and dynamic behaviour of the bearing over a range of shaft surface speeds between 40 m/s and 95 m/s and maximum specific load of 4.75 MPa. Similar test conditions were previously investigated on the same bearing with whitemetal lined pads, allowing for a direct comparison.

A thermo-elasto-hydrodynamic (TEHD) model for TPJBs with polymer-lined pads is introduced in this paper and validated against experimental test data.

Experimental data along with numerical results reveal and confirm the superior performance that can be attained using TPJBs with polymer lined pads at high specific loads.

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