Analysis of the waved journal bearing concept featuring a waved inner bearing diameter for use with a compressible lubricant (gas) is presented. The performance of generic waved bearings having either three or four waves is predicted for air lubricated bearings. Steady-state performance is discussed in terms of bearing load capacity, while the dynamic performance is discussed in terms of fluid film stability and dynamic coefficients.

It was found that the bearing wave amplitude has an important influence on both steady-state and dynamic performance of the waved journal bearing. For a fixed eccentricity ratio, the bearing steady-state load capacity and direct dynamic stiffness coefficient increase as the wave amplitude increases. Also, the waved bearing becomes more stable as the wave amplitude increases. In addition, increasing the number of waves (e.g., four waves instead of three waves) reduces the waved bearing’s sensitivity to the direction of the applied load relative to the wave. However, the range in which the bearing performance can be varied decreases as the number of waves increases. Therefore, both the number and the amplitude of the waves must be properly selected to optimize the waved bearing design for a specific application. Another possibility is to use the waved bearing to actively control the rotor-bearing system dynamic coefficients via actively controlling the wave amplitude.

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