This paper is aimed at presenting results regarding the static and thermal behavior of a tilting-pad journal bearing operating under controllable regime. The bearing is rendered controllable by injecting high pressure oil into the clearance using holes drilled across the bearing pads in the radial direction. The modification of the injection pressure enables to modify the bearing static and dynamic properties according to the operational needs. The results presented are obtained using a theoretical model, which considers all the effects that determine the bearing behavior (controllable elastothermohydrodynamic lubrication regime), as well as using a test rig designed and built to this effect. The comparison between experimental and theoretical results provides solid ground to determine the accuracy of the available model for the the prediction of the steady-state behavior of the tilting-pad bearing with controllable lubrication. Among the parameters considered for the study are: oil film temperature field, resulting forces over rotor and pads, and rotor equilibrium position. The results obtained show good agreement between theory and experiment, as long as the assumptions on which the model is based are respected. Also, it is shown that some improvements are possible when it comes to model the steady-state behavior of the controllable bearing with the injection system turned off.
Tribology International, 2013, Vol 58, Issue 1, p. 85-97