In a previous study, the authors investigated the effect of various thrust bearing profiles on the bearing performance and concluded that bearing performance is significantly influenced by the deformations resulting from lubrication film pressure. In the present work, results from a recent study on the effect of the interaction between the ball-joint and bearing on bearing deforma tion and hence, on bearing performance are reported. The motivation behind the study is to investigate the impact of raising or lowering the contact area between the ball-joint and bearing surface on bearing performance as this has the effect of influenceing the bearing deformation. Several designs involving various geometries of the bearing that affect the contact area are considered. The coupled fluid-solids problem is solved by using an iterative technique where the fluid problem is solved using the lubrication theory and the bearing deformation is analyzed by using the commercial FEA software ABAQUS standard. Results from the numerical simulations are compared with experimental results for the standard design of the bearing. The effect of varying the pocket width on the load carrying capacity of the bearing is also investigated.

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