Low clearance gas bearing applications require an understanding of surface roughness effects at increased levels of Knudsen number. Because very little information has been reported on the relative air-bearing influence of roughness location, this paper is focused on a comparison of the effects of moving and stationary striated surface roughness under high Knudsen number conditions. First, an appropriate lubrication equation will be derived based on multiple-scale analysis that extends the work of White (2010, “A Gas Lubrication Equation for High Knudsen Number Flows and Striated Rough Surfaces,” ASME J. Tribol., 132, p. 021701). The resulting roughness averaged equation, applicable for both moving and stationary roughness over a wide range of Knudsen numbers, allows an arbitrary striated roughness orientation with regard to both (1) the direction of surface translation and (2) the bearing coordinates. Next, the derived lubrication equation is used to analyze and compare the influences produced by a stepped transverse roughness pattern located on the moving and the stationary bearing surface of a wedge bearing geometry of variable inclination. Computed results are obtained for both incompressible and compressible lubricants, but with an emphasis on high Knudsen number flow. Significant differences in air-bearing performance are found to occur for moving versus stationary roughness.

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