The series-hybrid bearing couples a fluid-film bearing with a rolling-element bearing such that the rolling-element bearing inner race runs at a fraction of shaft speed. A series-hybrid bearing was analyzed and experiments were run at thrust loads from 100 to 300 lb and speeds from 4000 to 30,000 rpm. Agreement between theoretical and experimental speed sharing was good. The lowest speed ratio (ratio of ball bearing inner-race speed to shaft speed) obtained was 0.67. This corresponds to an approximate reduction in DN value of 1/3. For a ball bearing in a 3 million DN application, fatigue life would theoretically be improved by a factor as great as 8.

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