In this paper, the static and dynamic performance of herringbone, step-pocket, taper-pocket, and taper-flat thrust bearings were numerically analyzed. Optimal values for the design parameters of each type of bearing were analyzed in terms of both maximum axial stiffness (kzz) and maximum ratio of axial stiffness to friction torque (kzz/T) and bearing performance for both cases was calculated. The optimal performance characteristics of these bearings were compared in terms of application to hard disk spindles. Step-pocket and taper-pocket thrust bearings are superior to herringbone and taper-flat thrust bearings with respect to both the maximum kkk and the maximum kzz/T conditions. It was found that the dams of thrust bearings with pockets play an important part in improving the hearing performance. It was made clear that the taper-pocket and the taper-flat thrust bearings have a much larger load capacity than the other two types of thrust bearings in the proximity of zero clearance.

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