The pressure distribution and load carrying capacity for a single 3D dimple, representing laser surface texturing (LST) of gas-lubricated tribological components with parallel surfaces, were obtained via two different methods of analysis: 1) a numerical solution of the exact full Navier-Stokes equations; 2) an approximate solution of the much simpler Reynolds equation. Comparison between the two solutions illustrated that the differences in load carrying capacity were negligible for clearances that are 3% or less of the dimple diameter. At larger realistic clearances the error in the load carrying capacity may reach a maximum of 10%.

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