Hydrostatic journal bearings handling low viscosity cryogenic liquids operate under extreme conditions of external pressurization. The regime of operation of these bearings is fully turbulent with large fluid inertia effects. Furthermore, cryogenic liquid propeties depend strongly on the local pressure and affect the bearing leakage and force response. The turbulent flow of a barotropic cryogenic fluid in a hydrostatic bearing is considered. Advection fluid inertia, recess-edge fluid inertia and liquid compressibility, and bearing surface roughnesses are included in the analysis. Numerical results for a liquid hydrogen hydrostatic bearing show that an incompressible fluid model overpredicts flow rate and force coefficients when compared to the more realistic barotropic fluid model.

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