A mathematical analysis of a class of compliant journal bearings operating with a compressible lubricant is presented. Finite element methods are used to obtain approximate solutions, and results for the rigid case are compared to those obtained by finite difference methods. Results for the case in which the compliant bearing component is a shell show that the steady-state performance can be radically different from that predicted by the rigid bearing assumption. These differences may explain the antiwhirl characteristics exhibited by this type of bearing.

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