This paper presents a methodology for evaluating the failure probability of fluid bearings, which are sensitive components for the design of machine rotors, mechatronic systems, and high precision metrology. The static and dynamic behavior of a fluid bearing depends on several parameters, such as external load, bearing dimensions, supply pressure, quality of the machined surfaces, fluid properties, etc. In this paper, the characteristics of a simple geometry hydrostatic bearing are calculated analytically in order to demonstrate the usefulness of the methodology and its pertinence to bearing design. Monte Carlo simulation and first order reliability method (FORM) are used to evaluate the probability of failure.

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