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Evaluation of a hybrid hydrostatic bearing for cryogenic turbopump applicationA hybrid hydrostatic bearing was designed to operate in liquid hydrogen at speeds to 80,000 rpm and radial loads to 440 n (100 lbf). The bearing assembly consisted of a pair of 20-mm angular-contact ball bearings encased in a journal, which was in turn supported by a fluid film of liquid hydrogen. The size and operating conditions of the bearing were selected to be compatible with the operating requirements of an advanced technology turbopump. Several test parameters were varied to characterize the bearing's steady-state operation. The rotation of the tester shaft was varied between 0 and 80,000 rpm. Bearing inlet fluid pressure was varied between 2.07 and 4.48 MPa (300 and 650 psia), while the fluid sump pressure was independently varied between 0.34 and 2.07 MPa (50 and 300 psia). The maximum radial load applied to the bearing was 440 N (110 lbf). Measured hybrid-hydrostatic-bearing stiffness was 1.5 times greater than predicted, while the fluid flow rate through the bearing was 35 to 65 percent less than predicted. Under two-phase fluid conditions, the stiffness was even greater and the flow rate was less. The optimal pressure ratio for the bearing should be between 0.2 and 0.55 depending on the balance desired between bearing efficiency and stiffness. Startup and shutdown cyclic tests were conducted to demonstrate the ability of the hybrid-hydrostatic-bearing assembly to survive at least a 300-firing-duty cycle. For a typical cycle, the shaft was accelerated to 50,000 rpm in 1.8 sec. The bearing operated for 337 start-stop cycles without failure.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Spica, P. W.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Hannum, N. P.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Meyer, S. D.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 5, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1986
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:87255
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 506-60-42
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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