This paper offers an analysis and computer solutions for misaligned thrust faces, including thermal effects and proper cavitation boundary conditions. The geometries analyzed range from full 2π arcs to pads of 27 deg angular extent, for both parallel surfaces and standard tapered-land thrust bearings. It is shown that, except for parallel surfaces, no cavitation occurs in thrust bearings, even under severe misalignment; that the gain in hydrodynamic force versus a decrease in minimum film thickness is most favorable at low and moderate levels of misalignment; and that for high load capacity, small arcs (many pads) are preferred to large ones.

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