An in-house solver was created in order to simulate hydrodynamic lubrication utilizing smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH). SPH is a meshfree, Lagrangian, particle-based method that can be used to solve continuum problems. In this study, transient hydrodynamic lubrication in a pad bearing geometry was modeled utilizing the SPH method. The results were validated by comparison to computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and an analytical solution provided by lubrication theory. Results for the pressure distribution between SPH and CFD were agreeable while lubrication theory failed to capture any inertial effects of the fluid. Velocity profile comparisons differed slightly between all three methods. However, since smoothed particle methods have been shown to have the advantage of being able to model large deformations, as well as allowing easy definitions of fluid-solid interfaces, they can be useful tools for complex problems in tribology.

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