In the present paper, a study of stiffness and damping in sector-pad micro thrust bearings with artificial surface texturing is presented, based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The bearing pads are modeled as consecutive three-dimensional independent microchannels, each consisting of a smooth rotating wall (rotor) and a partially textured stationary wall (stator). CFD simulations are performed, consisting in the numerical solution of the Navier–Stokes equations for incompressible isothermal flow. The goal of the present study is to characterize the dynamic behavior of favorable designs, identified in previous optimization studies, comprising parallel and convergent thrust bearings with rectangular texture patterns. To this end, a translational degree of freedom (DOF) along the thrust direction and a rotational (tilting) DOF of the rotor are considered. By implementing appropriate small perturbations around the equilibrium (steady-state) position and processing the simulation results, the stiffness and damping coefficients of the bearing are obtained for each DOF. The computed dynamic coefficients of textured thrust bearings are compared to those of conventional (smooth slider) designs. It is found that the dependence of bearing stiffness and damping on geometrical parameters exhibits the same trends for both DOFs. Both stiffness and damping are found to increase with bearing width. In general, increasing the bearing convergence ratio results in increased bearing stiffness and decreased damping. Finally, the present results demonstrate that properly textured parallel sliders are characterized by an overall dynamic performance that is superior to that of smooth converging sliders.

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