Analytical methods and techniques are required for design and analysis of low clearance gas-bearings that account for the combined influence of surface roughness and Knudsen number. Analytical methods for the lubrication equation are currently available for bearings that are either high wave number-limited or high bearing number-limited. There are few useful analytical methods in the range between these limiting extremes that account for the combined effect of roughness and rarefaction. That is the focus of this paper as it extends the work reported by White (2013, “Surface Roughness Effects in the Region Between High Wave Number and High Bearing Number-Limited Lubricant Flows,” ASME J. Tribol., 135(4), p. 041706) to include rarefaction effects. Results of an analytical study will be reported that investigates a wedge bearing geometry using perturbation methods and multiple-scale analysis over a wide range of Knudsen numbers for roughness on moving and stationary surfaces. The solution technique developed allows nonlinear aspects of the lubrication equation to be retained in the analysis. Solutions will be presented graphically and discussed. Results indicate that most of the bearing sensitivity to Knudsen number can be accounted for by a modified form of the bearing number.

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