Fluid Film Bearings

Optimized Performance

At Waukesha Bearings, we collaborate with customers to engineer hydrodynamic fluid film bearings for optimized performance in individual operating conditions.

In addition to properly sizing bearings to handle the required loads and minimize power loss, we expertly apply surface geometries, tilt pad designs, lubrication methods, materials and other specialized features to achieve peak performance. The result is an endless variety of customized fixed profile and tilt pad bearing systems.

No matter how challenging the turbomachinery, our engineers have the knowledge and application experience to design the right solution.

Combination tilt pad bearing with copper chrome (CuCr) backed thrust pads (MS range)
Tilt pad journal bearing

Journal (Radial) Bearings

With fixed profile and tilt pads designs, and options such as hydrostatic jacking, ‘Directed Lubrication’ and combined thrust capability, Waukesha Bearings has journal bearing solutions for turbomachinery large and small.
Tilt pad thrust bearing with instrumentation

Thrust (Axial) Bearings

From fixed profile designs for lightly loaded applications to advanced tilting pad configurations for high loads and speeds, Waukesha Bearings delivers optimized thrust bearing solutions.
Vertical bearing assembly for large vertical pump

Vertical Assemblies

Proven Waukesha Bearings vertical assembly designs range from large combination thrust and journal bearings for motor-driven reactor coolant pumps, to small, self-contained air-cooled units for LNG pumps.
Horizontal fixed profile bearing assembly

Horizontal Assemblies

Waukesha Bearings horizontal bearing assemblies include highly customized journal or combined journal and thrust bearings designed to interface with an external pressurized oil system or operate as a fully self-contained unit.

Comprehensive Rotordynamic Analysis

Through rotor modeling and a full evaluation of equipment operating conditions, Waukesha Bearings can simulate critical speeds, rotor modes, undamped natural frequency and unbalance response, among other characteristics.

Rotordynamic analysis tools are combined with bearing coefficients from in-house design programs to provide highly accurate analyses and predictions for the validation of original builds and the design of optimized solutions.

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ISFD technology

Engineered Damping for Vibration Control

Rotating equipment requires damping to control vibrations and prevent them from damaging the rotor, bearings and other components. While fluid film bearings provide a significant amount of damping, it may not be sufficient, particularly for machinery running at high speeds and/or with a flexible rotor. The system may require an increase in “effective” damping.

Waukesha Bearings ISFD® technology provides highly engineered damping and stiffness to shift critical speeds and increase the dynamic stability of the rotor/bearing system.

Large polymer-lined tilt pad thrust bearing

Advanced Materials for Advanced Performance

Materials play a significant role in bearing performance, and continuing materials development has expanded the ability to meet stringent application goals, such as increased load capacity, reduced power loss, or operation in process fluids.

Waukesha Bearings applie advanced materials, including polymers, ceramics, cermets and aluminum tin, to extend the operating limits of fixed profile and tilting pad bearings.

Fluid film journal bearing with 'Directed Lubrication' on test rig

Waukesha Bearings Advantage

  • Experience with challenging and mission-critical applications
  • Unmatched engineering expertise and materials knowledge
  • Global reference list with leading OEMs
  • Patented and proprietary design features
  • Design and manufacture to extreme tolerances
  • Extensive testing and validation
  • Proprietary, field-proven prediction programs

Backed by R&D

As more demands are placed on your equipment, you need a partner with the right technology to support you. Waukesha Bearings is committed to ongoing technology leadership and is investing now to ensure we can deliver the solutions you need for the future.

Our Commitment to Innovation

How Fluid Film Bearings Work

When properly designed and maintained, the working life of a fluid film bearing is theoretically infinite. Under these circumstances, contact between bearing surfaces and the rotor occurs only at start-up and in the final stages of rundown. During operation, the rotor moves on a continuous film of oil, water or other filtered process fluid.

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