MS Thesis Presentation by Alicia E. Fortier
Friday, July 30, 2004

(Dr. Richard Salant, Chair)

"Numerical Simulation of Hydrodynamic Bearings with Engineered Slip/No-Slip Surfaces"


The no-slip boundary condition is the foundation of traditional lubrication theory. It says that fluid adjacent to a solid boundary has zero velocity relative to that solid surface. For most practical applications the no-slip boundary condition is a good model for predicting fluid behavior. However, recent experimental research has found that for special engineered surfaces the no-slip boundary condition is not applicable. Measured velocity profiles suggest that slip is occurring at the interface. In the present study, it is found that judicious application of slip to a bearing’s surface can lead to improved bearing performance.

The focus of this thesis is to analyze the effect an engineered slip/no-slip surface could have on hydrodynamic bearing performance. A heterogeneous pattern is applied to the bearing surface in which slip occurs in certain regions and is absent in others. Analysis is performed numerically for both plane pad slider bearings and journal bearings. The performance parameters evaluated for the bearings are load carrying capacity, side leakage rate and friction force. Fluid slip is assumed to occur according to the Navier relation and the effect of a critical value for slip onset is considered.