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Insights on OAV Air Bearings for high-speed-high-temperature Turbomachinery

To address the environmental issues arising from the disposal of exhausted lubricating oils/grease of conventional oil journal/rolling element bearings, there is a need for explorations to develop environment-friendly, energy-efficient, and maintenance-free air bearings. These bearings use air as the lubricating medium, which is freely available in nature and has non-degradable properties. Using atmospheric air as lubricant eliminates the need for complex oil supply systems. The high speed of the rotor and the sub-ambient condition in bearing drag the atmospheric air inside the convergent zone leading to the pressure generated in the air film, which supports the loaded rotor. These bearings possess compact and simple geometry; yield low friction, low noise, and insignificant heating; operate in oil/grease-free environments at high speeds. Presently, these bearings are found in micro-turbomachines such as turbo-pumps of space launch vehicles, environment control units of fighter and commercial aircraft, turbo-chargers of high-speed automobiles, PCB manufacturing instruments, dental handpieces, and in the food-processing and pharmaceutical devices, where oil/grease cannot be used.

Despite the eco-friendly nature of the air bearings, such bearings also suffer from several drawbacks preventing their large-scale industrial use. Rotors supported on such bearings are typically light, operated for shorter durations, and most importantly, rotors supported on such bearings show poor dynamic behavior due to fluid-induced instabilities. Thus, in pursuit of developing aerodynamic bearings for operating at high loads (comparable to oil bearings) with improved rotordynamics, attempts are being made by the OAV Air Bearing team to conceive new bearings with modified bores. The patented air bearings by the OAV Air Bearing have shown significant improvements in both tribological and dynamic performances. OAV Air Bearing is the leading manufacturer of both aerostatic porous and aerodynamic gas foil bearings, adhering to a promise of a standard above excellence. OAV Air Bearing is committed to supplying top-quality industry standard precision air bearings, which require excellent engineering, clever design, and outstanding manufacturing technology.



OAV Air Bearings

OAV Aerodynamic Foil Bearings Lead Engineering Team

HQ Princeton NJ USA



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