Inertia Effects in Rheodynamic Lubrication of an Externally Pressurized Converging Thrust Bearing using Bingham Fluids


Department of Mathematics, SSN College of Engineering, Kalavakkam, Chennai, 603110, India


Thrust bearing are innately developed to withstand axial load. When the bearing is subjected to high speed operations, heavy load, high stiffness etc., suggesting a change in the design of the bearing plays a vital role in its performance. Friction is developed between the circular plates while the bearing operates. To reduce this friction, the bearing is lubricated with lubricants such as mineral oil, greases etc., Generally, lubricants are classified into two types that is Newtonian and non-Newtonian. However, non-Newtonian fluids characterized by an yield value such as Bingham, Casson and Herschel Bulkley, are attracting the tribologists, at present. And also, the study of fluid inertia on thrust bearing is required to optimize the performance of the bearings. In this investigation, we have ventured to analyze the performance of the bearing by considering the combined effects of fluid inertia forces and non-Newtonian characteristic with Bingham fluid as lubricant in an externally pressurized converging circular thrust bearing. Such studies will be useful in the design of the bearing for the optimum performance using the appropriate lubricant in various machineries operating in an extreme condition in the industries. Averaging the inertia terms over film thickness and defining a modified pressure gradient, the rheodynamic lubrication equation containing inertia terms has been analyzed. Using the appropriate boundary conditions and considering externally pressurized flow in narrow clearance between two converging discs is symmetric w.r.t r and z axis, the velocity distributions, the modified pressure gradient and thereby the film pressure and the load capacity of the bearing have been obtained numerically for different values of Bingham number, Reynolds number and angle of convergence. In addition to that, the effects of the inertia forces, non-Newtonian characteristics and angle of convergence on the bearing performances have been discussed.