The work presented here outlines details of tests performed on thrust washer bearings using a customized test rig, which was designed, fabricated, and instrumented to conduct tests on thrust washer bearings of varying sizes and thicknesses. The test rig was able to vary speed, axial load, oil input pressure, and oil input temperature. The system was composed of 6 main parts; the structure, drive system, runner, instrumentation pad, loading system, and instrumentation. The main support structure was fabricated using 1 inch square hollow bar stock steel (1018 steel). A 1 hp DC motor with a max speed of 3050 rpm and varying speed controller was used as a direct drive system to spin the runner against the bearing. The tests were conducted on three aluminum bearings of same design under almost constant operating conditions. The data obtained from tests performed on bearings included oil temperature, bearing temperature, oil film thickness, and pressure on bearing pads. It was found that the temperature at the surface of bearing and oil film pressure was directly related to the applied load. This information will be used to advance our understanding of smaller diameter thrust washer bearings and will assist in extrapolating these results to improve upon larger scale bearings.

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