An order of magnitude analysis of the Rayleigh-Plesset equation of motion of a bubble surface reveals that inertia and viscous forces can be ignored in realistic bearing configurations and that surface tension plays an important role. The influence of gas bubbles in liquid lubrication is examined with particular reference to the steadily-loaded plane-inclined slider-bearing. Load carrying capacity is virtually unaffected by lubricant gasification. The centre of pressure can be considerably modified, depending partially on the value of a new dimensionless group—the configuration number φ. It appears that the tilting-pad thrust bearing will sometimes be unstable in operation, resulting in bearing failure.

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