Contemporary machinery are required to operate under more demanding conditions such as high-temperature or possible contaminated environments. Such situations affect the proper operation of rotating components and sealing systems and could reduce their service life. For instance, hydrodynamic journal bearings may suffer serious performance issues due to contamination from moisture, dust, foreign particles and wear debris. This experimental study investigates the effect of surface texturing on the steady-state performance characteristics of highly-loaded journal bearings lubricated with a contaminated lubricant. Special attention is given to the bearings' load capacity and friction and wear at various contamination levels in the lubricant. Rig tests have been performed at selected speeds and loads on plain smooth and surface-textured journal bearings. Variable-size test dust was introduced into the lubrication system (at different rates) upstream of the test bearing while bearing characteristics were measured. Conclusions are then drawn on the effectiveness of the dimples in capturing contaminant particles and reducing the possibility of bearing failure.
Tribology International93 (21 September 2015): 377–389.