Hydrodynamic fluid lubrication theory is applied to thrust bearings with three-dimensional, wave-shaped axial end surfaces. Optimizations of the wave height and surface porosity are experimentally determined using lubrication characteristics such as the friction coefficient and worn-out surface conditions. Lubrication characteristics such as the friction coefficient, temperature rise, thrust flotation, and oil consumption rate are evaluated for an estimation of life expectancy. In this research, the results of this theoretical application on thrust bearings clearly showed considerable improvement over conventional thrust bearings. Furthermore, this experimental research has clarified the lubrication conditions of various thrust-loaded axial end surfaces.

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