This study focuses on the thermohydrodynamic lubrication analysis of fluid film bearings with step on the surface such as a Rayleigh step bearing. In general, the Reynolds equation does not satisfy the continuity of the fluid velocity components at steps. This discontinuity results in the difficulty to solve the energy equation for the lubricants, because the energy equation needs the velocity components explicitly. The author has solved this problem by introducing the equivalent clearance height and the equivalent gradient of clearance height at steps. These parameters remove the discontinuity of velocity components and the energy equation as well, so that one can solve these equations on all of the bearing surfaces including the step region by finite differential method (FDM). The numerical results of pressure and temperature distributions by the proposed method for a Rayleigh step bearing were compared with the results obtained by a commercial CFD package. These results showed good agreement with each other. This method is extended to 2D unequal grid problems.

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