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Effect of Pad Material, Copper Vs. Steel, On the Performance of a Tilting Pad Journal Bearing: Measurements and Predictions

Abstract: The paper presents measurements of performance conducted on a copper pads bearing (C-PB) and a steel-pads bearing (S-PB). Both bearings have the same geometry and differ on the pads' backing material, copper vs. steel. The journal diameter D=102 mm, and a bearing has five pads with length L=0.4D, nominal radial clearance 0.064 mm. The bearings operate at four shaft speeds ranging from 6 krpm to 14 krpm and under multiple specific loads ranging from 0.17 MPa to 2.1 MPa. At the highest load (on pad) and low speed, the S-PB static eccentricity is up to 37% higher than that for the C-PB. The oil exit temperature rise is similar for both bearings, the maximum difference reaches 6 °C. For all operating conditions, the pads' peak temperature rise, having a maximum difference of 5 °C to 16 °C, is larger for the S-PB. The S-PB produces a ~ 5% lower drag power loss than that in the C-PB. From dynamic load test results, the C-PB direct stiffness KYY (along the load direction) is up to 30% higher than the S-PB stiffness, while the difference in KXX between the C-PB and the S-PB ranges from 60% to 90%. Similar to the stiffness results, the C-PB produces larger direct damping coefficients; CYY and CXX are up to 25% and 40% larger than those for the S-PB.
Keywords: pads bearing / stiffness / journal / speeds / rise / MPa / krpm

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