The requirements for the optimum stiffness and the corresponding stiffness values of several types of externally pressurized, incompressible fluid-film thrust bearings under a turbulent Couette flow condition have been established. Study results indicate that the dimensionless optimum stiffness of the thrust bearing using any of the several types of geometrically restrictive compensators such as capillary and orifice, decreases with increasing Reynolds number. At high Reynolds numbers, the effect of varying Reynolds number on the stiffness becomes quite small. In contrast to the aforementioned restrictive compensation, the dimensionless stiffness of a constant-flow bearing design increases strongly with increasing Reynolds number. At Reynolds number of 106, the dimensionless stiffness varies approximately according to Re0.8.

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