With recent developments in N. C. manufacturing processes it is relatively straightforward to produce a journal bearing with spherical surfaces. Such a bearing offers two main advantages over a conventional bearing: it can tolerate much larger misalignment and it can resist axial forces. In this paper, the steady state performance of a spherical journal bearing is studied by using a finite bearing theory. The dynamic characteristics of the bearing are represented by eight displacement and velocity force coefficients and the boundary of bearing stability is determined. The effect of superlaminar flow upon the bearing performance is also studied, and typical bearing design charts are provided. In comparison, the behavior of the spherical journal bearing is found to be similar to that of an equivalent cylindrical bearing.

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