The relevance of calculating accurately the oil film temperature build up when modeling tilting-pad journal bearings is well established within the literature on the subject. This work studies the feasibility of using a thermal model for the tilting-pad journal bearing which includes a simplified formulation for inclusion of the heat transfer effects between oil film and pad surface. Such simplified approach becomes necessary when modeling the behavior of tilting-pad journal bearings operating on controllable lubrication regime. Three different simplified heat transfer models are tested, by comparing their results against the ones obtained from an state of the art tilting-pad journal bearing model, where the heat transfer effects are throughly implemented, as well as against some experimental results from the literature. The results obtained show that the validity of the simplified heat transfer models are strongly dependent on the Reynolds number for the oil flow in the bearing. For bearings operating in laminar regime, the decoupling of the oil film energy equation solving procedure, with no heat transfer terms included, with the pad heat conduction problem, where the oil film temperature is applied at the boundary as a Dirichlet condition, showed a good balance between quality of the results, implementation easiness and reduction in calculation time. For bearings on the upper limit of the laminar regime, the calculation of an approximated oil film temperature gradient in the radial direction, as proposed by Knight and Barrett, delivered the best results.
Proceedings of Asme Turbo Expo 2012, 2012, p. 823-835