This work is a generalization of previous treatments of the cavitation problem for short journal bearings [1, 2]. Cavitation incipience and the cavitation pattern are dependent on both supply and cavitation pressure levels. The geometrical pattern of the cavity boundary is found to satisfy a universal solution which depends uniquely on the cavitation incipience eccentricity and the operating eccentricity. The same eccentricity parameters also uniquely determine the friction and through-flow characteristics. Radial and tangential force components are dependent on the supply/cavitation pressure ratio in addition to the eccentricity parameters. The results are applicable to journal bearings, shaft-seals, and squeeze-film dampers.

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