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How Do Interfacial Shear and Gravity Affect the Oil Film Characteristics Near an Aero-Engine Bearing?

Sinha, Avick; Brewster, Benjamin; Johnson, Kathy; Walsh, Mike; Hann, David


Benjamin Brewster

Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Assistant Professor

Associate Professor


Recent demand for reducing carbon emission and for increasing engine efficiency has led aero-engine manufacturers to strive for a better oil flow system. Aero-engine bearing chambers that house the shaft-support bearings are among the most challenging parts of the engine systems and it is imperative to have a proper understanding of the oil flow characteristics inside a bearing chamber to increase the engine efficiency. The present work is focused on experimentally investigating the oil film characteristics near a ball bearing static slot in the co- and counter- current regions at various rotational Reynolds number (Reω), loads and liquid flow rates. The experimental investigation has been carried out over a wide range of engine relevant Reω up to 1.7×106 using high-speed imaging and a long distance microscope. The results show that formation of the oil film on the static elements of the bearing is governed by both gravity and interfacial forces at low Reω but only governed by interfacial forces at high Reω. The nondimensional film thickness ranged from 0.71 to 0.18 and decreases with increasing Reω. A regime map was obtained based on the waviness of the film interface showing three different types of wave. At all conditions investigated all waves were capillary waves. Reω, oil flowrate and gravity were found to have a significant effect on the film thickness (d) with transitions matching the wave regime map.


Sinha, A., Brewster, B., Johnson, K., Walsh, M., & Hann, D. (2022). How Do Interfacial Shear and Gravity Affect the Oil Film Characteristics Near an Aero-Engine Bearing?. Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, 144(10), Article 101001.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 25, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 25, 2022
Publication Date Oct 1, 2022
Deposit Date Aug 9, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 25, 2022
Journal Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power
Print ISSN 0742-4795
Electronic ISSN 1528-8919
Publisher American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 144
Issue 10
Article Number 101001
Keywords Mechanical Engineering; Energy Engineering and Power Technology; Aerospace Engineering; Fuel Technology; Nuclear Energy and Engineering
Public URL
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