The present paper deals with oil droplet flow phenomena in aero engine bearing chambers. An experimental investigation of droplet sizes and velocities utilizing a Phase Doppler Particle Analyzer (PDPA) has been performed for the first time in bearing chamber atmospheres under real engine conditions. Influences of high rotational speeds are discussed for individual droplet size classes. Although this is an important contribution to a better understanding of the droplet flow impact on secondary air/oil system performance, an analysis of the droplet flow behavior requires an incorporation of numerical methods because detailed measurements as performed here suffer from both strong spatial limitations with respect to the optical accessibility in real engine applications and constraints due to the extremely time-consuming nature of an experimental flow field analysis. Therefore, further analysis is based on numerical methods. Droplets characterized within the experiments are exposed to the flow field of the gaseous phase predicted by use of our well-known CFD code EPOS. The droplet trajectories and velocities are calculated within a Lagrangian frame of reference by forward numerical integration of the particle momentum equation. This paper has been initiated rather to show a successful method of bearing chamber droplet flow analysis by a combination of droplet sizing techniques and numerical approaches than to present field values as a function of all operating parameters. However, a first insight into the complex droplet flow phenomena is given and specific problems in bearing chamber heat transfer are related to the droplet flow.

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