Numerical solution to a theoretical model of vapor cavitation in a dynamically loaded journal bearing is developed, utilizing a multigrid iterative technique. The method is compared with a noniterative approach in terms of computational time and accuracy. The computational model is based on the Elrod algorithm, a control volume approach to the Reynolds equation which mimics the Jakobsson-Floberg and Olsson cavitation theory. Besides accounting for a moving cavitation boundary and conservation of mass at the boundary, it also conserves mass within the cavitated region via a smeared mass or striated flow extending to both surfaces in the film gap. The mixed nature of the equations (parabolic in the full film zone and hyperbolic in the cavitated zone) coupled with the dynamic aspects of the problem create interesting difficulties for the present solution approach. Emphasis is placed on the methods found to eliminate solution instabilities. Excellent results are obtained for both accuracy and reduction of computational time.

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