The performance of a hydrostatic foil journal bearing operating with an incompressible fluid is discussed. In the configuration considered here, pressurized lubricant fluid is supplied through capillaries to recessed pockets on the surface of the journal. The foil is treated as a perfectly flexible, inextensible shell by a three dimensional finite element model. The pressure distribution is predicted by a finite element formulation of the incompressible Reynolds equation. Results are presented which demonstrate that the foil structure enhances load support while increasing lubricant film thickness. In addition, results indicate that membrane effects are essential in the structural model.

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