The experimental investigation discussed here gives experimental confirmation of the slip-flow theory for modeling hydrodynamic gas bearings with clearances below 0.25 microns. An interferometric technique employing two CW lasers is used to measure the small clearances with an accuracy of 0.025 microns. The effects of molecular rarefaction are studied by operating the slider bearing in different gas media of different mean free paths. Bearings operating at extremely high local Knudsen numbers are studied without approaching excessively high bearing numbers. Experimentally measured trailing edge clearances and pitch angles are compared with theoretical predictions using the modified Reynolds equation with velocity slip boundary conditions. Excellent agreement between experiment and theory is found for clearances as high as 1.60 microns to as low as 0.075 microns with corresponding ambient Knudsen numbers of 0.04 and 2.51, respectively.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.