The objective of this paper is to study the effect of molecular mean free path on the steady-state performance characteristics of a spiral-grooved thrust bearing operating in extremely thin film and/or low ambient pressure environments. Numerical results for the most popular three versions of the spiral-grooved designs are presented. These results reveal that the effect of slip boundary conditions could contribute substantial reduction, in performance. Helium is the worst gas lubricant in this sense because of its high Knudsen number. The slip-flow corrected results check well with recently published experimental data [11].

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.