A commercial CFD code has been applied to model lubricant flow behaviour within 2D and 3D linear pad bearings having closed pockets or recesses. The study indicates that the presence of closed pockets can result in a significant reduction in bearing friction coefficient. At high convergence ratios, no cavitation is predicted within the pockets. This means that suitably-positioned pockets in the high-pressure region of the bearing result in a much greater reduction in local shear stress than in local pressure, so that there is an overall reduction in friction coefficient. At low convergence ratios, cavitation occurs in the inlet to the pockets so that each pocket acts an effectively-independent step bearing. This results in the overall bearing supporting a higher load and thus having lower friction coefficient than is the case without pockets.

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