Granular Flow Lubrication in Journal Bearing Geometries
Hydrodynamic journal bearings are prevalent in many industrial applications and machinery. In most cases these bearings can be lubricated via conventional liquid lubricants. However, in extreme temperature or pressure environments, conventional liquid lubricants are unable to sustain loads. This has led to the advent of solid/particulate lubrication, as a viable lubricant alternative. This research aims to demonstrate that granular lubrication, distinct from powder lubrication, is capable of acting as a lubricant by supporting load through the transfer of momentum during particle collisions. A granular lubricated journal bearing (GLJB) rig has been developed, which is used to demonstrate the generation of a sustainable "lubrication lift" inside of a journal bearing arrangement by means of a granular flow.