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Durham e-Theses
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The effects of friction reducing polymers on the operation of journal bearings

Hampson, L. G. (1972) The effects of friction reducing polymers on the operation of journal bearings. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



As rotating machines become larger, an increasing number of plain journal bearings operate in the turbulent regime. The addition of small amounts of high molecular weight polymers to the lubricant offers an attractive method of counteracting the increased power loss. This effect has previously been investigated for turbulent flow in pipes. Experiments are described on the operation of a four-inch diameter bearing lubricated with a very dilute, aqueous solution of poly(ethylene oxide).It is shown that the film extent in large clearance bearings is very dependent on the operating parameters, A numerical analysis based on the Reynolds equation indicates that a minimum dissipation principle can be used to explain the delay in the formation of a full width film. The transition to turbulence occurred at a Reynolds number of 2000. There was little evidence of Taylor vortices. The bearing friction was significantly affected by the angular momentum of the leakage flow. Very low concentrations of polymer were found to be effective in reducing the friction. Typically, 0.005% by weight causing a reduction of k5% at a Reynolds number of 3500, The bearing was also significantly stabilised against whirling, although the pressure distribution was unchanged. The polymer became ineffective after approximately twenty passes through the bearing. The degradation caused by shearing will probably be the factor limiting commercial exploitation of friction reduction in turbulent bearings.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1972
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Nov 2013 15:38

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