This work investigates the use of carbon fiber filled polyamide filament as feedstock material for fused filament fabrication of hydrodynamic tapered-land thrust bearings. Experimental analysis was conducted on fused filament fabricated carbon fiber filled polyamide samples to obtain elastic properties and thermal expansion coefficients along the longitudinal and transverse directions with respect to the print orientation. Single bearing pads were modeled using the obtained mechanical properties and were then analyzed under in-service bearing operating pressures and temperatures. Thermo-mechanical analysis conducted in ABAQUS/CAE shows that taper geometry forms on both [0,90] and [0,0,90] print orientations with depths of 174 μm and 260 μm as a result of thermal expansion occurring from the heat load produced during hydrodynamic bearing operation.

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