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Evolution of the lubrication regime of a cylindrical journal bearing in the starting phase

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Purpose ‐ The paper aims to analyze the evolution of the lubrication regime by studying the variation of friction coefficient with the rotational speed of the shaft and the impact of the applied load in the starting phase of a cylindrical journal bearing. The paper also aims to ensure that the oil layer is large enough for the rough edges of the outer layer of the bushing and the shaft cannot come into contact. The bearing is made of steel backing material and babbitted (88 per cent tin) on its inner surface. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A numerical analysis is performed taking into account the thermal effect to better predict the operating performance of a hydrodynamic plain cylindrical journal bearing during the start-up and observe the variation of the heat production in bushing inner surface. The flow is modeled based on the Reynolds equation and discretized using the finite volume method. Findings ‐ The evolutions of the start-up speeds of the bearing have remarkable influence on friction torque; average temperature and dissipated power increased with increasing speed and increasing load, but the maximum pressure and the eccentricity decreased with the increase of the start-up speed. The friction coefficient, minimum film thickness and attitude angle increase with elevation of start-up speed. Originality/value ‐ For the start-up speed of 750, 1,000 and 1,800 rpm and an applied load of 1,000 N, the regime of lubrication of the bearing passes the hydrodynamic regime to the mixed regime; therefore, during start-up and under heavy loads, the bearing must move very quickly at these speeds to avoid contact of the inner surface of the bearing and the shaft.
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Keywords: Friction coefficient starting phase; Lubrication regime; Plain cylindrical journal bearing; Thermal effect

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 8, 2014

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