Hydrodynamic/hydrostatic journal bearings have been widely used in various types of high speed rotating machinery. For space applications, the issue of using cryogenic fluids as working lubricants has steadily gained in significance. The primary goal of this paper is to model the nonlinearities that occur in a hydrodynamic journal bearing with both cryogenic and oil lubricants. Results will be examined through bearing fluid film pressure distribution and bearing linear and nonlinear stiffness characteristics. The numerical model that couples a variable property Reynolds equation with the dynamics of the rotor is solved by means of a finite difference solution technique. The procedure for the fluid film pressure solution involves an iterative scheme that solves the Reynolds equation coupled with the equations of state for liquid oxygen (LO2). The pressure curve is then integrated to calculate bearing supporting forces. A two-dimensional Newton-Raphson iteration method is used to locate the journal equilibrium position from which both linear and nonlinear bearing stiffness are evaluated by means of the small perturbation technique. The effects of load on the linear/nonlinear plain journal bearing characteristics are analyzed and presented in a parametric form. The relationship between the accuracy of the linear solution and the various orders (3rd, 5th, and 7th power for ΔX) of the nonlinear approximation are also discussed. The validity of both linear and nonlinear solutions at various distances from the journal equilibrium position is also examined. A complete parametric study on the effects of load, temperature, operating speed, and shaft misalignment will be given in Part 2 of this paper.

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