A theoretical analysis of the pressure distribution, load, capacity, and attitude angle for a single-step concentric as well as a multistep infinite length eccentric Rayleigh step journal bearing is performed. The results from the single-step concentric analysis indicated that the maximum load capacity is obtained when the film thickness ratio is 1.7 and the ratio of the angle subtended by the ridge to the angle subtended by the pad is 0.35. The results from the infinite length eccentric analysis indicated that one step placed around the journal was optimal. For eccentricity ratios greater than or equal to 0.2 the maximum load occurred for a bearing without a step or a Sommerfeld bearing. For eccentricity ratios less than 0.2 the optimal film thickness ratio is 1.7 while there are three optimal ratios of angle subtended by the ridge to the angle subtended by the pad of 0.4, 0.45, and 0.5 depending on whether load capacity or stability or both load capacity and stability is more important in the application being considered.

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