A completely new type of externally pressurized gas thrust bearing is proposed and its static characteristics are analyzed. Unlike conventional gas bearings whose load capacity depends on the viscosity of gas, the load capacity of this new type of bearing is independent of the viscosity of gas since it utilizes the choking phenomenon of gas flow to maintain high pressure in the bearing clearance. Also the change of the location of the throat generates bearing stiffness. Since the flow is supersonic at the exit of the bearing clearance, the flow conditions downstream of the exit do not affect the flow inside the bearing clearance. Accordingly, the load capacity increases proportionally to the supply pressure. Thus, the main disadvantage of conventional gas bearings, namely, the deficiency of their load capacity is overcome.

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