The step-thrust self-acting gas bearing was investigated for an application where equal load support was required for both directions of rotation. A method of computer analysis by James and Potter  shows characteristics of the support for geometric, gas and speed parameters. Support of this step bearing is shown to be about one fifth of a good spiral-groove thrust bearing (spiral-groove bearings are limited to one direction of rotation). For comparison, a good thrust plate of unidirectional design would have the following parameters: groove width ratio ∼0.5, groove depth ratio ∼3, spiral angle ∼70 deg, and a radius ratio (R1/R0) ∼0.62. Two test models were built and evaluated to confirm the computer analysis. Dynamic responses to vibration loads were also tested.
Investigation of the Step-Thrust Gas Bearing Without Feed Grooves for Two Directions of Shaft Rotation
Rood, L. H. (October 1, 1969). "Investigation of the Step-Thrust Gas Bearing Without Feed Grooves for Two Directions of Shaft Rotation." ASME. J. of Lubrication Tech. October 1969; 91(4): 620–624. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3555008
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