This paper is dedicated to the analysis of uncertainties affecting the load capability of a 4-pad tilting-pad journal bearing in which the load is applied on a given pad load on pad configuration (LOP). A well-known stochastic method has been used extensively to model uncertain parameters by using the so-called Monte Carlo simulation. However, in the present contribution, the inherent uncertainties of the bearing parameters (i.e., the pad radius, the oil viscosity, and the radial clearance; bearing assembly clearance) are modeled by using a fuzzy dynamic analysis. This alternative methodology seems to be more appropriate when the stochastic process that characterizes the uncertainties is unknown. The analysis procedure is confined to the load capability of the bearing, being generated by the envelopes of the pressure fields developed on each pad. The hydrodynamic supporting forces are determined by considering a nonlinear model, which is obtained from the solution of the Reynolds equation. The most significant results are associated to the changes in the steady-state condition of the bearing due to the reaction forces that are modified according to the uncertainties introduced in the system. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the uncertainty analysis in this case provides relevant information both for design and maintenance of tilting-pad hydrodynamic bearings.

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