Aeroengine bearing chambers typically contain bearings, seals, shafts and static parts. Oil is introduced for lubrication and cooling and this creates a two phase flow environment that may contain droplets, mist, film, ligaments, froth or foam and liquid pools. Efficient and effective liquid removal from a bearing chamber is a functional requirement and in recent years the University of Nottingham Technology Centre in Gas Turbine Transmission Systems has been conducting an experimental and computational research program one strand of which is investigating bearing chamber off-take flows. Initial investigations focussed on a chamber where there was a relatively deep pocket for oil collection below the chamber [1, 2]. In more recent studies Chandra et al have investigated a shallower geometry [3]. In both sets of studies, chamber residence volume and wall film thickness data have been obtained for a range of shaft speeds, scavenge ratios and liquid supply rates. Two methods of introducing liquid to the chamber have been used: a film generator that puts liquid directly onto the chamber wall and a droplet inlet system that distributes droplets from the rotating shaft.

During some of the previous investigations, visual data relating to the two phase flow in the outlet pipe immediately below the chamber was gathered together with data from pressure transducers one located in this pipe and one on the chamber itself. It has been observed that for some parameter combinations the chamber flow is gravity dominated whereas for others (typically at higher shaft speeds) the flow is shear dominated. During transition between regimes a pressure spike on the pipe pressure transducer is observed and this may be linked to a change in two phase flow regime within the outlet pipe. A study by Baker et al [4] on transient effects in gas-liquid separation has shown pressure spikes during transitions to new equilibrium conditions for two-phase pipe flow where the gas flow rate is suddenly increased.

In this paper outlet visualisation, chamber visualisation and pressure data are combined and conclusions are drawn relating to the parameters controlling whether shear or gravity dominate. The effect of the chamber flow regime on the outlet flow regime is assessed and presented. An implication of the analysis is that during transitional conditions a bearing chamber may contain a different quantity of liquid than in steady state conditions.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.