The use of PTFE-faced pads in large vertical axis hydro-generators was pioneered in Russia in the 1970s, prompted by a series of failures of conventional babbitt-faced bearings. Some advantages claimed include higher specific loading, lower power loss and the omission of oil-lift facilities. There is strong interest in the Industry concerning this material, but limited data are available on actual performance. Some results from extensive testing of PTFE-faced pads are given, for two sizes of pad. These are compared directly size-for-size with results for babbitt bearings of nominally the same area. The power losses for the two types of bearing were found to be almost identical. Some of the effects observed during testing are described and discussed, including the effect of creep. The test results are compared with predictions using the GENMAT analysis software. A method of allowing for creep in numerical modeling is discussed.

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