In this work, a computational fluid-film bearing analysis model has been utilized in order to investigate the conjugate heat transfer problem for a tapered-land bearing using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis. The academic model is based on the 2D Reynolds equation for the pressure distribution in the film the 3D energy equation is solved for the the bearing pad and the fluid film; therefore, the lubricant properties such as viscosity and density could be made temperature-dependent. The runner is modeled using a 2D axisymmetric mesh. The current analysis excludes the mechanical or thermal deformations of the bearing and the runner since it was observed that the results for output quantities such as film temperature, film pressure, torque and load capacity were within reasonable agreement with the benchmark data obtained from the experiments for the majority of the speed and load cases studied. Comparisons of modeling results against the benchmark data was obtained for cases ranging from 2000 rpm to 10,000 rpm at loads varying from 1000 N to 8000 N. The importance of proper boundary conditions used in the heat transfer model is emphasized as well as the coupling of heat transfer between the film and the solid surfaces of collar and the bearing is described. The results obtained here yielded that a thermohydrodynamic (THD) model that includes the energy transfer into the structures surrounding the fluid film is sufficient enough to predict the performance of a tapered-land bearing at a wide speed and load range in the case where the runner is thick enough that the effect of deformations on the results can be ignored.

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