Waukesha Bearings, a global leader in the design and manufacture of engineered hydrodynamic bearings, has secured a patent for its innovative trailing edge cooling technology. Trailing edge cooling increases heat transfer in tilting pad bearings to expand bearing operating limits. The design features grooves in the trailing edge face of the tilting pad and a spray bar adjacent to the trailing edge to deliver cooling flow.
The grooves in the trailing edge face increase the surface area and allow the lubricant to penetrate deeper into the pad for greater cooling effect. The flow supplied to the trailing edge is a portion of the flow already being supplied to lubricate the bearing for hydrodynamic operation.
The inventors on the patent, US 9,534,637 B2, are Richard Livermore-Hardy, Engineering Manager, Europe, and Barry Blair, Chief Engineer. Livermore-Hardy is based out of the Waukesha Bearings office in Rickmansworth, UK; Blair is based out of the company’s Pewaukee, WI, USA, office.
“The development of trailing edge cooling is rooted in the specific need of our customers to address high bearing temperatures, which can limit the operational range of a bearing,” said Marcell Ulrichs, President of the company. “This patent is representative of our commitment to combine innovation and engineering to create a best-in-class bearing solution.”
One of the leading applications of trailing edge cooling technology is on the Waukesha Bearings Maxalign® tilt pad radial bearing. Optimized for performance in large rotating equipment, Maxalign bearings offer reduced oil flow and power loss to improve machine efficiency; a pivot design highly adaptable to shaft misalignment; and an industry leading hydrostatic lift design in the lower pads that produces a reliable shaft lift whilst limiting the temperature increase that the hydrostatic lift feature can induce once the machine has reached full speed. The application of trailing edge cooling in the Maxalign design further lowers bearing temperatures, permitting operating speeds and loads in excess of 100 m/s and 3 MPa, without compromising bearing life or safety margin.
Trailing edge cooling is not limited to the Maxalign bearing design. Any radial or thrust bearing operating under higher speeds and loads than typically allowed would benefit from trailing edge cooling. Contact Waukesha Bearings to learn how trailing edge cooling technology could benefit your application.