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This theoretical work concentrates on improvement in the lubrication performance of the scroll compressor thrust bearing undergoing an orbital motion. In order to achieve the objective, the thrust surface is patterned with various surface features such as grooves (triangular, circular and trapezoidal) and circular pockets. The analytical model was developed to predict the hydrodynamic pressure distribution and film thickness at the thrust interface of an orbiting scroll. An isothermal, time-dependent polar coordinate Reynolds equation containing both radial and tangential velocity components was solved using a control volume finite difference approach. The results indicate that under an orbiting situation circular pockets are capable of carrying a significant amount of load as compared to that of uniformly distributed radial grooves. Based on the performance results obtained for various operating conditions, work was focused on designing an optimum surface pocket configuration that would provide maximum load support and minimum friction.

Units: SI

 

Citation: ASHRAE Transactions, vol. 114, pt. 2, Salt Lake City 2008