Innovative Bearings to Improve Performance and Efficiency in Industry
Volume 4, Number 4, October 2008 - Paper 4 - pp. 345 - 356
J. K. MARTINLecturer in Mechanical Engineering and Head of Lubrication Research Group,
Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology,
The Open University,
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
(Received on February 04, 2008)
Up to one half of the total usable energy produced in the world is consumed in overcoming friction. There have been a number of initiatives launched in the field of lubrication as potential sources of significant improvements in energy efficiency in a wide range of engineering products, industrial plant and processes. This paper reviews some of the background to these claims and how a novel design of adjustable fluid film bearing shows promise to both improve performance and save energy. Simulations and practical tests have demonstrated clear improvements over conventional fluid film bearings, along with a number of other benefits that may be of interest to designers and users of such bearings.
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