Some factors useful in overcoming excessive air gaps in foil bearings are investigated. Since the gaps of interest are small, the foil bearing equations are modified to include the effects of the molecular mean free path. It is shown that by small corners in the solid wall, one can reduce the air film thickness considerably. A change in curvature with continuous slope has also a marked effect on the film thickness. Theoretical prediction curves allowing the calculation of the air gap as a function of corner angle, change in radius of curvature, and the molecular mean free path are presented.

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