The benefits of three-dimensional modeling of thrust bearings are described and illustrated with examples. Data are given for the convection coefficients on the back face of pads and attention is drawn to improvements in bearing performance given by reducing the thermal resistance of pads. The importance of pad support in large bearings is illustrated by a case study in which the size of the support disk is varied. Improved performance can be obtained if the disk is sized correctly. Further improvement is obtained if part of the disk support is cut away.

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