Several recent technical papers have discussed the advantages of various designs of thrust bearings by comparing the power losses of the different type bearings. However, great care must be exercised to ensure that the comparisons are fair. There are many external factors that influence loss, such as oil flowrate, clearance, supply temperature and so on. Unless compensation for these external factors is included in the analysis, the power loss comparisons may be misleading. This paper attempts to show both qualitatively and quantitatively the influence that various external factors have on bearing power loss. It has been determined experimentally that oil flowrate adjustment can vary power loss by as much as 150 percent. The choice of radial or tangential discharge can reduce power loss by 60 percent, while the actual size of the discharge can influence power loss by 50 percent. Varying the bearing end play has little effect on measured power loss.

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