Cold and hot lubricant mixing at the inlet to a hydrodynamic bearing has been an unresolved and critical problem in determining bearing performance. The paper offers a conceptual and experimental investigation of the mechanism of mixing in the groove, in terms of the relevant flows and temperatures. The carryover from pad to pad of the discharging hot fluid film, the flow dynamics in the groove and the effects of cavitation are all determined in detail in the light of available experiments. Results of an extensive series of tests aimed at measuring the mixing inlet temperatures as a function of a range of operating conditions and bearing sizes are correlated in terms of an appropriate mixing function. Empirical equations based on the above correlation for the determination of the inlet temperatures are then given for both thrust and journal bearings.

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