Novel thrust bearings, with spiral-groove, flexible membranes mounted on resilient supports, were designed and their performance convincingly demonstrated. Advantages of surface compliance were thus combined with the superior load-capacity of the spiral-groove geometry. Loads of 127–150N (29–33 lb) were comfortably supported on an area 42 cm2 (6.5 in.2), at speeds 43,000–45,000 rpm and mean clearances 15–20 μm (600–800 μin.), by these self-acting and air-lubricated bearings. Support-worthiness was proved under exacting conditions, when tested in conjunction with foil journal-bearings and a 19N (4.3 lb)-rotor, excited in a pitching mode by a total unbalance of 43 μm.N (6100 μin.oz).

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