Contributed by the Tribology Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for presentation at the ASME/STLE Tribology Conference, Cancun, Mexico, October 27–30, 2002. Manuscript received by the Tribology Division February 18, 2002 revised manuscript received May 7, 2002. Associate Editor: M. M. Khonsari.

The technology of hybrid (hydrostatic/hydrodynamic) fluid film bearings for process fluid applications has improved in the last few years through extensive experimentation and analysis. The increasing number of applications encompasses cryogenic liquid turbopumps, A/C compressors, and canned motor pumps. Recently, a major firm in rotating machinery monitoring and protection introduced hydrostatic bearings as a revolutionary concept enabling rotor dynamically stable operation for industrial turbomachinery by providing adequate means of support stiffness and viscous damping dissipation 1.

Hybrid bearings derive their load capacity from shear flow driven effects (hydrodynamic wedge) and from controlled pressure drop and flow resistance effects through feed...

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