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Hydrodynamic Bearings in Diesel Engines

The object of lubrication is to reduce friction, wear, and heating of machine parts that move relative to each
other. In a sleeve bearing, a shaft, or journal, rotates or oscillates within a sleeve, or bushing, and the relative
motion is sliding. In an antifriction bearing, the main relative motion is rolling. A follower may either roll or
slide on the cam. Gear teeth mate with each other by a combination of rolling and sliding. Pistons slide
within their cylinders. All these applications require lubrication to reduce friction, wear, and heating. The
crankshaft and connecting-rod bearings must operate at high temperatures and under varying load
conditions. Different forms of lubrication can be identified for self-pressure generating lubricated contacts:
i) Hydrodynamic
ii) Hydrostatics
iii) Elasto-hydrodynamic
iv) Partial or mixed
v) Boundary.
- Hydrodynamic or full film lubrication is the condition when the load carrying surfaces are separated by a
relatively thick film of lubricant. This is a stable regime of lubrication and metal-to-metal contact does not
occur during the steady state operation of the bearing. The lubricant pressure is self-generated by the
moving surfaces drawing the lubricant into the wedge formed by the bounding surfaces at a high enough
velocity to generate the pressure to completely separate the surfaces and support the applied load.
Hydrodynamic lubrication means that the load-carrying surfaces of the bearing are separated by a relatively
thick film of lubricant, so as to prevent metal-to-metal contact, and that the stability thus obtained can be
explained by the laws of fluid mechanics. Hydrodynamic lubrication does not depend upon the introduction
of the lubricant under pressure, though that may occur; but it does require the existence of an adequate
supply at all times. The film pressure is created by the moving surface itself pulling the lubricant into a
wedge-shaped zone at a velocity sufficiently high to create the pressure necessary to separate the surfaces
against the load on the bearing. Hydrodynamic lubrication is also called full-film lubrication. In a plain
journal bearing, the position of the journal is directly related to the external load. When the bearing is
sufficiently supplied with oil and external load is zero, the journal will rotate concentrically within the
bearing. However, when the load is applied, the journal moves to an increasingly eccentric position, thus
forming a wedge-shaped oil film where load-supporting pressure is generated.

- Hydrostatics
Lubricant is forced into the bearing at a pressure high enough to separate the surfaces. Relative motion of
the surfaces is not required in this case. Hydrostatic lubrication is obtained by introducing the lubricant, into
the load-bearing area at a pressure high enough to separate the surfaces with a relatively thick film of
lubricant. So, unlike hydrodynamic lubrication, this kind of lubrication does not require motion of one surface
relative to another.

- Elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication is the condition that occurs when a lubricant is introduced between
surfaces that are in rolling contact, such as ball and rolling element bearings. In this lubrication regime, the
load is sufficiently high enough for the surfaces to elastically deform during the hydrodynamic action.(
mating gears or rolling bearings)

As the oil enters the contact zone between a ball and raceway (by rolling action), the oil’s pressure rises
sharply. This high pressure in turn significantly increases the oil’s viscosity and load-holding ability. This
concentrated load will slightly deform (flatten) the metal of the rolling elements and race in the contact
zone. The deformation only occurs in the contact zone, and the metal elastically returns to its normal form as
the rotation continues.
- Partial or mixed lubrication regime deals with the condition when the speed is low, the load is high or the
temperature is sufficiently large to significantly reduce lubricant viscosity – when any of these conditions
occur, the tallest asperities of the bounding surfaces will protrude through the film and occasionally come in
contact. In addition to occurring with a shortage of lubricant, mixed-film conditions may be present when
a) The viscosity is too low.
b) The bearing speed is too low.
c) The bearing is overloaded.
d) The clearance is too tight.
e) Journal and bearing are not properly aligned.
- Boundary lubrication Special case of hydrodynamic lubrication where film thickness is reduced to be “very
thin”. Boundary lubrication is the condition when the fluid films are negligible and there is considerable
asperity contact. The physical and chemical properties of thin surface films are of significant importance
while the properties of the bulk fluid lubricant are insignificant. This may happen because of:
- increased load
- reduced lubricant supply
- reduced rotational speed
- reduced viscosity
- Lubrication of the journal bearing in diesel engines (mainly during starting and stopping of engine).
- Piston rings and when cylinder liner is at TDC and BDC position when the piston direction changes and if the
relative speed is very slow.
- Lubricant film thickness < 100 nm thick
Diesel engine components oil film thicknesses
Component Oil film thickness (microns)10 -3 mm
Main journal bearing 0.8 – 50.0
Big end bearing 0.8 – 50.0
Piston pin bushing 0.5 – 15.0
Cylinder rings 0.3 – 7.0
Valve train bearings 0.0 – 1.0
Turbocharger bearings 0.5 – 20.0


Let us now consider a shaft rotating in a guide bearing. It is assumed that the bearing carries a very small
load that the clearance space is completely filled with oil, and that leakage is negligible (Fig. 1). We denote
the radius of the shaft by r, the radial clearance by c, and the length of the bearing by l. If the shaft rotates at
N rev/s, then its surface velocity is U = 2π.r.N (m/s).
(Fig. 1)
The flow is laminar and the shear stress between the flow layers is proportional to the velocity gradient in
the direction perpendicular to the flow (Newton’s law of viscosity):
τ =μ.∂U/∂y
μ = Dynamic viscosity of oil,
U = Linear velocity of the laminar layer,
y = the axis perpendicular to the flow direction.
Since the shearing stress in the lubricant is equal to the velocity gradient times the viscosity.
τ =μ.U/h =2π.r.N(μ/c)
Where the radial clearance c has been substituted for the distance h. The force required to shear the film is
the stress times the area. The torque is the force times the lever arm r. Thus
T= (τ.A)(r)= 2π.r.N(μ/c) (2πrl)(r)=4π2.r3l. μ.N/c
If we now designate a small force on the bearing by W, in Newtown, then the pressure P, in N/m2 of
projected area, is P = W/2rl. The frictional force is f.W, where f is the coefficient of friction, and so the
frictional torque is
T= f.W.r =f (2rlP) r =2f.l.P.r2 =4π2.r3l. μ.N/c
f=2π2(μ.N/P)(r/c) (1)
Equation (1) is called Petroff ’s.The two quantities (μ.N/p) and r/c are very important parameters in
lubrication. The bearing characteristic number, or the Sommerfeld number, is defined by the equation:-
S=(r/c) 2(μ.N/P)
The Sommerfeld number is very important in lubrication analysis because it contains many of the parameters
that are specified by the designer. Note that it is also dimensionless. The quantity r/c is called the radial
clearance ratio. If we multiply both sides of Eq. (1) by this ratio, we obtain the interesting relation
f(r/c) =2π2(μ.N/P)(r/c)2 =2π2.S (2)
The difference between boundary and hydrodynamic lubrication can be explained by reference to Fig. 2. This
plot of the change in the coefficient of friction versus the bearing characteristic μ.N/P. The plot is important
because it defines stability of lubrication and helps us to understand hydrodynamic and boundary, or thin-
film, lubrication. Recall Petroff’s bearing model in the form of Eq. (1) predicts that f is proportional to μ.N/P,
that is, a straight line from the origin in the first quadrant. On the coordinates of Fig. 2, the locus to the right
of point C is an example. Petroff’s model presumes thick-film lubrication, that is, no metal-to-metal contact,
the surfaces being completely separated by a lubricant film.

Fig. 2 the variation of coefficient of friction with the bearing characteristic μ.N/p.
Suppose we are operating to the right of point C, an increase in lubricant temperature. This results in a lower
viscosity and hence a smaller value of μ.N/P. The coefficient of friction decreases, not as much heat is
generated in shearing the lubricant, and consequently the lubricant temperature drops and viscosity
increased. Thus the region to the right of point C defines stable lubrication because variations are self-
correcting. To the left of point C, a decrease in viscosity would increase the friction. A temperature rise would
ensue, and the viscosity would be reduced still more. The result would be compounded. Thus the region to
the left of point C represents unstable lubrication.
A design constraint to keep thick-film lubrication is to be sure that point B ( μ.N/P ≥ 1.7X10-6)
It is also helpful to see that a small viscosity, and hence a small μ.N/p, means that the lubricant film is very
thin and that there will be a greater possibility of some metal-to-metal contact, and hence of more friction.
Thus, point C represents what is probably the beginning of metal-to-metal contact as μ.N/p becomes smaller.
Let us now examine the formation of a lubricant film in a journal bearing. Fig.3a shows a journal that is just
beginning to rotate in a clockwise direction. Under starting conditions, the bearing will be dry, or at least
partly dry, and hence the journal will climb or roll up the right side of the bearing .Now suppose a lubricant is
introduced into the top of the bearing as shown in Fig. 3b. The action of the rotating journal is to pump the
lubricant around the bearing in a clockwise direction. The lubricant is pumped into a wedge-shaped space
and forces the journal over to the other side. A minimum film thickness h o occurs, not at the bottom of the
journal, but displaced clockwise from the bottom This is explained by the fact that a film pressure in the
converging half of the film reaches a maximum somewhere to the left of the bearing center.

Fig.3 Formation of a film

Figure 4 shows how to decide whether the journal, under hydrodynamic lubrication, is eccentrically
located on the right or on the left side of the bearing. Visualize the journal beginning to rotate. Find the
side of the bearing upon which the journal tends to roll. Then, if the lubrication is hydrodynamic, mentally
place the journal on the opposite side. The nomenclature of a journal bearing is shown in Fig. 4. The
dimension c is the radial clearance and is the difference in the radii of the bushing and journal. In Fig. 4
the center of the journal is at O and the center of the bearing at O'. The distance between these centers is
the eccentricity and is denoted by e. The minimum film thickness is designated by ho, and it occurs at the
line of centers. The film thickness at any other point is designated by h. We also define an eccentricity ratio
ε as ε = e/c

Fig.4 Nomenclature of a partial journal bearing.

O = Journal or the shaft center
O'= Bearing center
r = Journal radius
r +c = Bearing radius
e = Eccentricity, 0 ≤ e ≤ c
The radial clearance or half of the initial difference in diameters is represented by c which is in the order
of 1/1000 of the journal diameter.
ε = eccentricity ratio= e/c , 0 ≤ ε ≤ 1.0
The lubricant’s film thickness h = c (1+ ε.cosβ)
The maximum and minimum values for h are
hmax =c +e =c(1+ ε)
hmin =c - e =c(1- ε)
The bearing shown in the figure is known as a partial bearing. If the radius of the bushing is the same as
the radius of the journal, it is known as a fitted bearing.
If the bushing encloses the journal, as indicated by the dashed lines, it becomes a full bearing. The angle β
describes the angular length of a partial bearing. For example, a 120° partial bearing has the angle β
equal to 120°.
- Polar diagram of the film– pressure distribution showing the notation used

Φ =Attitude angle (position of minimum film thickness)

θPo =Terminating position of oil film
θpmax = Position of maximum film position


Petroff's method of lubrication analysis, which assumes a concentric shaft and bearing, was the first to
explain the phenomenon of bearing friction. This method, which ultimately produces the equation known
as Petroff's Law, is useful because it defines groups of relevant dimensionless parameters, and predicts a
fairly accurate coefficient of friction, even when the shaft is not concentric . Considering a shaft rotating
inside a bearing, it can be assumed that the bearing is subjected to a negligible load, the radial clearance
space is completely filled with lubricant, and that leakage is negligible.
The shear stress in the lubricant can be represented as follows:
- The inertia forces resulted from the accelerated movement of the flowing lubricant are neglected.
- The lubricating fluid is incompressible.
- The pressure of the fluid p is constant in the direction perpendicular to the laminar flow: dp/dy=0
(assumption of thin lubrication film).
- The viscosity of the fluid is constant throughout the lubrication film. Consider the equilibrium of a
unit volume in the lubricant film.

Fig.5 Shear stress in the lubricant

- The pressure forces act on the right and the left faces of the unit volume.
- The shear forces resulting from the relative motion of the laminar layers act along the upper and
the lower faces of the unit volume.
Assuming that there is no flow in z direction, the equation of the equilibrium of the forces in the direction of
the flow is as follows:
dp.dy - dτ.dx = 0
∂2u/∂y2 = (1/μ)dp/dx
∂u/∂y = (1/μ) (dp/dx)Y +C1
u = (1/2μ)(dp/dx)y2+C1Y +C2
The constants of integration C1 and C2 may be determined from the boundary conditions:
u=0 when y=0, then C2=0
u = U when y=h, then:
C1= (U/h) - (dp/dx)h/2μ
u = (1/2μ) (dp/dx)(y2-hy)+(U.y/h)
This equation gives the velocity distribution of the lubricant in the film as a function of the coordinate y
and the pressure gradient dp/dx. The equation shows that the velocity distribution across the film (from y
= 0 to y = h) is obtained by superposing a parabolic distribution onto a linear distribution. When the
pressure is maximum, dp/dx= 0 and the velocity is u= U.y/h .

The total flow of the lubricant, Q=∫0 𝑢. 𝑑𝑦
Q= [(1/2μ)(dp/dx)(y3/3 –hy2/2)+(U/h)(y2/2)]0h
Q=U.h/2 - (1/12μ)(dp/dx)h3
According to the assumption about incompressibility of the lubricant the flow Q does not change in x
direction: dQ/dx=0
dQ/dx=(U/2)(dh/dx) – d((1/12μ)(dp/dx)h3)/dx=0
∂ (h3dp/dx)∂x=6μU.dh/dx
This is Reynolds equation for one dimensional flow.
It can be used with the assumption of no flow in z direction (bearings with infinite length).
If the flow in z direction is taken into account (bearings with side leakage of the lubricating fluid) then the
analysis results in Reynolds equation for two dimensional flows:
∂ (h3dp/dx) ∂x + ∂ (h3dp/dz) ∂z =6μ.U.dh/dx
h = Local oil film thickness,
μ = Dynamic viscosity of oil,
p = Local oil film pressure,
U = Linear velocity of journal,
x =Circumferential direction.
z = Longitudinal direction
Fig. 6 shows the behaviour of a journal rotating in a bearing, the clearance between the two being shown
very much exaggerated. The clearance space is supposed to be completely filled with oil at all times, which
is possible by supplying the oil as fast as it runs out. If the shaft does not rotate it will sink to the bottom of
the clearance space due to the load W, and the journal and bearing will touch as shown in Fig (a). The way
in which the rotating shaft will build up pressure in the oil sufficient to separate the surfaces is shown in
Fig (b) and (c). As the shaft starts to turn it will climb the bearing wall as shown in Fig (b). But as the
speed increases, the moving journal tends to put oil into the wedge shaped area between the shaft and the
bearing. As a result the oil pressure on right side becomes more than on the left side, and the journal is,
there-fore, forced sway from the bearing wall. An equilibrium position is finally reached as shown in Fig
(c) with the surfaces separated by a film of oil whose minimum thickness is ho .The magnitude of ho and
position of the line of centers in Fig (c) will depend on the load, the fluid properties of oil, the size and
speed of shaft, the clearance and length of the bearing.

Fig. 6 behaviour of a journal rotating in a bearing

From above, the following points, about the items influencing bearing performance, can be concluded:
1- A slippery bearing material is desirable during starting and stopping, but once the oil film is established
the bearing material is less important.
2- Higher is the speed of journal, more will be the oil pulled into the apex of the wedge of oil in the
clearance space of Fig (c), and as a result, more supporting pressure will be developed.
3- An increase in supporting pressure will increase the oil film thickness ho and decrease the eccentricity e.
4- If the eccentricity 'e' is decreased, the supporting pressure must decrease because the sides of the wedge
are more nearly parallel.
5- Oil film thickness ho is also influenced by changing of clearance.
We may distinguish between two groups of variables in the design of sliding bearings. In the first group
are those whose values either are given or are under the control of the designer. Independent (design)
variables (controlled directly by the designer) which include:
1) viscosity μ
2) load per unit of projected bearing area, P
3) speed N
4) bearing dimensions r, c, β, and l
Dependent variables; may be controlled indirectly by changing one or more of the first group, which are:
1) Coefficient of friction,“f ”
2) Temperature rise “ΔT ”
3) Oil flow rate “Q ”
4) Minimum film thickness “ho”.
These variables tell about the performance of the bearing, and may be called the “performance factors”
(the designer may impose limitations on those variables to ensure satisfactory performance)
- Charts have been prepared by Raimondi and Boyd for various design parameters, in
dimensionless form, are plotted with respect to Sommerfeld number.
Significant angular speed:
The rotational speed “N ” that is used in the Sommerfeld number depends on the rotation of the journal,
the bearing and the load. It can be found as:
N=|Nj+Nb-2Nf |
Nj= journal angular speed (rev/s)
Nb= bearing angular speed (rev/s)
Nf =load vector angular speed (rev/s)

Fig.7 (a) Common bearing case. (b) Load vector moves at the same speed as the journal. (c) Load vector moves at half journal speed,
no load can be carried. (d) Journal and bushing move at same speed, load vector stationary, capacity halved
Trumpler introduced some limitation for the design of journal bearings, which are:
- Minimum film thickness “ho ”
When bearing starts rotation some debris are generated because of metal to metal contact and it moves
with the lubricant. It is important that the minimum film thickness is kept thick enough such that the
debris can pass and will not block the lubricant flow.
Therefore Trumpler suggest that:
ho ≥ 0.00508+0.00004d mm
d=journal diameter (mm)
- Maximum lubricant temperature
When temperature increases beyond a certain limit, lighter components of the lubricant starts to
evaporate which increases viscosity and thus friction. For light oils, Trumpler suggests:
Tmax ≤ 121oC
- Starting load
Journal bearing usually consist of a steel journal and a bushing of softer material. If the starting load is
high, the bushing will be damaged because of the metal to metal contact. Thus, it is suggested that the
starting load divided by the projected area is:
Wst / ld ≤ 2068 kpa
Note that starting load is usually smaller than running load
- Running load design factor
To account for external vibrations, a design factor is to be used;
nd ≥ 2 (for running load not starting load)
The temperature of the oil is higher when it leaves the loading zone than it was on entry. And the viscosity
charts clearly indicate that the viscosity drops off significantly with a rise in temperature. Since the
analysis is based on a constant viscosity, our problem now is to determine the value of viscosity to be used
in the analysis. Some of the lubricant that enters the bearing emerges as a side flow, which carries away
some of the heat. The balance of the lubricant flows through the loadbearing zone and carries away the
balance of the heat generated. In determining the viscosity to be used we shall employ a temperature that
is the average of the inlet and outlet temperatures, or Tav =T1+ΔT/2
Where T1 is the inlet temperature and ΔT is the temperature rise of the lubricant from inlet to outlet. Of
course, the viscosity used in the analysis must correspond to T av
When we know the oil inlet temperature and need to find the outlet temperature we have to use trial-and-
error where we assume the temperature rise and find viscosity then use it to compute a temperature rise.
If it does not match the assumed then another value is tried and so on.
μ = μo.e (b/ (1.8T+127) (mpa.s)
Oil Grade, SAE μo b
20 0.09370 1271.6
30 0.09715 1360.0
40 0.08334 1474.4
Lubricant temperature will increase until a heat balance is reached (heat generated by shearing the
lubricant = heat lost to surroundings).The temperature of the lubricant rises until the rate at which work
is done by the journal on the film through fluid shear is the same as the rate at which heat is transferred to
the greater surroundings. The specific arrangement of the bearing plumbing affects the quantitative
relationships. See Fig. 8. Lubricant sump (internal or external to the bearing housing) supplies lubricant at
sump temperature Ts to the bearing annulus at temperature Ts =T1. The lubricant passes once around the
bushing and is delivered at a higher lubricant temperature T 1 +ΔT to the sump. Some of the lubricant leaks
out of the bearing at a mixing-cup temperature of T1 +ΔT/2 and is returned to the sump. The sump may be
a keyway-like groove in the bearing cap or a larger chamber up to half the bearing circumference. It can
occupy “all”of the bearing cap of a split bearing. In such a bearing the side leakage occurs from the lower
portion and is sucked back in, into the ruptured film arc. The sump could be well removed from the
journal-bushing interface.

Fig. 8 Schematic of a journal bearing with an external sump with cooling; lubricant makes one pass before returning
to the sump.
Q = volumetric oil-flow rate into the bearing, m3/s
Qs = volumetric side-flow leakage rate out of the bearing and to the sump, m3/s
Q - Qs = volumetric oil-flow discharge from annulus to sump, m3/s
T1 = oil inlet temperature (equal to sump temperature T s), °C
ΔT = temperature rise in oil between inlet and outlet, °C
ρ = lubricant density, kg/ m3
Cp = specific heat capacity of lubricant, kj/kg°k)
H = heat rate, kj/s
Using the sump as a control region, we can write an enthalpy balance. Using T 1 as the datum temperature
gives Hloss =ρ.Cp.Qs.ΔT/2+ ρ.Cp(Q-Qs)ΔT= ρ.Cp.Q.ΔT[1-(Qs/2Q)] (3)
The thermal energy loss at steady state Hloss is equal to the rate the journal does work on the film is
Hloss = 2πTN
The torque T = f.W.r
The load in terms of pressure = W = 2P.r.l, and multiplying numerator and denominator by the clearance c
gives. Hloss = (4π.P.r.l.N.c )( f.r/c) (4)
Equating Eqs. (3) and (4) and rearranging results in
ρ.Cp.ΔT/(4πP)= (r.f/c)/{(1-Qs/2Q)[Q/(r.c.N.l)]}
ΔT= (4πP/ρ.Cp)(f.r/c)/[(Q/r.c.N.l)(1-Qs/2Q)] (5)
For given S the charts provide us the values of:-
f (r/c),Q/rcNl and Qs/Q
For common petroleum lubricants
ρ= 860.845 kg/m3
Cp = 1.76 kj/kg.k
0.120ΔT/PMPa = (r.f/c)/ {(1-Qs/2Q) [Q/(r.c.N.l)]} (6)
When designing journal bearings for thick film lubrication, the designer selects the lubricant and suitable
values for the bearing parameters (P, N, r, c, and l) to give satisfactory performance. However, the
clearance “c” is difficult to hold accurate during manufacturing. Also, clearance increases with time
because of wear. The figure (9) shows the effect of wide range of clearances on the performance of a
bearing. It can be seen from the figure that:-
a) Lubricant flow increases with increased clearance and this decreases the generated heat and outlet
b) The minimum film thickness “ho” increases with clearance then it starts to decrease.
- If the clearance is too small, dirt (debris) may block the oil flow and therefore cause overheating and
- If the clearance becomes too large, the bearing becomes noisy and the minimum film thickness begins to
decrease again.
- In between these two limitations there exists a rather large range of clearances that will result in
satisfactory bearing performance.
When both the production tolerance and the future wear on the bearing are considered, it is seen, from
Fig. 9, that the best compromise is a clearance range slightly to the left of the top of the minimum-film-
thickness curve. In this way, future wear will move the operating point to the right and increase the film
thickness and decrease the operating temperature.
- Thus, the optimum range of clearances is shown by shaded area in the figure. If clearance value is within
this range the performance of the bearing will improve with wear.

Fig.9 Effect of bearing radial clearance

The load carrying capacity of self-contained bearings is limited because of the limited heat-dissipating
capability. To increase the heat-dissipation, an external pump is used to increase the lubricant flow
through the bearing. The pump supplies the bearing with lubricant of high pressure therefore increasing
the lubricant flow and heat dissipation. The lubricant sump may also be cooled with water to reduce
temperature further.
To force a greater flow through the bearing and thus obtain an increased cooling effect, a common
practice is to use a circumferential groove at the center of the bearing, with an oil-supply hole located
opposite the load-bearing zone. The effect of the groove is to create two half-bearings, each having a
smaller l/d ratio than the original. The groove divides the pressure-distribution curve into two lobes and
reduces the minimum film thickness, but it has wide acceptance among lubrication engineers because such
bearings carry more load without overheating. To set up a method of solution for oil flow, we shall assume
a groove ample enough that the pressure drop in the groove itself is small. Initially we will neglect
eccentricity and then apply a correction factor for this condition. The oil flow, then, is the amount that
flows out of the two halves of the bearing in the direction of the concentric shaft. If we neglect the rotation
of the shaft, the flow of the lubricant is caused by the supply pressure ps , shown in Fig.10 .A
circumferential groove at the center of the bearing, with an oil-supply hole located opposite to the load
zone, is usually used to feed the lubricant . The oil flows from the groove in the middle towards the ends of
the bearing.Note that in this type of bearings, the lubricant is supplied at high pressure

Figure 10 Flow of lubricant from a pressure-fed bearing having a central annular groove
In analyzing the performance of pressure-fed bearings, the bearing length should be taken as l', as defined
in Fig.10. The characteristic pressure in each of the two bearings that constitute the pressure-fed bearing
assembly P is given by
P= (W/2)/ (2rl') =W/4rl'
The Sommerfeld number may be expressed as
Laminar flow is assumed, with the pressure varying linearly from p = p s at x = 0, to p = 0 at x = l'. Consider
the static equilibrium of an element of thickness dx, height 2y, and unit depth. Note particularly that the
origin of the reference system has been chosen at the midpoint of the clearance space and symmetry about
the x axis is implied with the shear stresses τ being equal on the top and bottom surfaces. The equilibrium
equation in the x direction is
-2y( p + dp) +2yp + 2τ dx = 0
τ = y.dp/dx
τ= μ.du/dy
u= (y2/2μ)(dp/dx)+C1

At the boundaries, where y = ± c/2, the velocity u is zero

C1 = - c2/8μ (dp/dx)
u= (1/8μ) (dp/dx)(4y2-c2)
Assuming the pressure varies linearly from ps to 0 at x = 0 to l', respectively.
p=ps – ps(x/l') and dp/dx= - (ps/l')
u=ps (c2-4y2)/ (8μl') (7)
The maximum velocity occurring at the center, where y = 0.
umax = ps.c2/(8μl') (8)
To consider eccentricity, as shown in Fig. 11 film thickness is h=c-e.cosθ

Figure 11
Substituting h for c in Eq. (8), with the average ordinate of a parabola being two-thirds the maximum, the
average velocity at any angular position θ is
uav =(2/3) ps.h2/(8μl')= (ps /12μl')( c-e.cosθ)2 (9)
The elemental side flow at any position θ is
dQs =2uav.dA=2uav(r.h.dθ)
Where dA is the elemental area. Substituting uav from Eq. (9) gives
dQs = (ps.r/6μl')( c-e.cosθ)3 dθ
Integrating around the bearing (from 0 to 2π) gives the total side flow as
Qs =∫𝑑𝑄𝑠 = (ps.r/6μl`)∫2𝜋 (c-e.cosθ)3 dθ =(ps.r/6μl')(2πc3+3πce2 )
Rearranging, with ε= e/c, gives
Qs = (πps.rc3 /3μl`) (1+1.5ε2) (10)
Since the oil flow has been increased by forced feed, (Tav=T1+Δt/2) will give a temperature rise that is too
high because the side flow carries away all the heat generated. The plumbing in a pressure-fed bearing is
depicted schematically in Fig. 12.

Figure 12 Pressure-fed centrally located full annular-groove journal bearing with external, coiled lubricant sump
The oil leaves the sump at the externally maintained temperature T s at the volumetric rate Qs. The heat
gain of the fluid passing through the bearing is
Hgain=2 ρ.Cp.(Qs /2)ΔT = ρ.Cp.Qs ΔT
The rate at which the journal does frictional work on the fluid film is
Hf = 2πTN = 2πf.W.r.N = 2πW.N.c(f.r/c)
Equating the heat gain to the frictional work and solving for ΔT gives
ΔT= (2π.W.N.c/ ρ.Cp.Qs ) (f.r/c)
Substituting Eq. (10) for Qs in the equation for ΔT gives
ΔT= (2π.W.N.c/ ρ.Cp.)(f.r/c) (3μl' )/ [πps.rc3 (1+1.5ε2)]
ΔT= [3f.r/c)SW2 /(2ρ .r4)](1/( 1+1.5ε2 ) (11)
In SI units uses the bearing load W in kN, lubricant supply pressure ps in kPa, and the journal radius r in
ΔT= [978x106/ (1+1.5ε2)].[( f.r/c)S.W2 /( ps..r4)] (12)
S= sommerfeled number = (f.r/c) 2(μN/P)
The two conflicting requirements of a good bearing material are that it must have a satisfactory
compressive and fatigue strength to resist the externally applied loads and that it must be soft and have a
low melting point and a low modulus of elasticity.
The second set of requirements is necessary to permit the material to wear or break in, since the material
can then conform to slight irregularities and absorb and release foreign particles. The resistance to wear
and the coefficient of friction are also important because all bearings must operate, at least for part of the
time, with thin-film or boundary lubrication.
Additional considerations in the selection of a good bearing material are its ability to resist corrosion and,
of course, the cost of producing the bearing. Bearing life can be increased very substantially by depositing
a layer of babbitt, or other white metal, in thicknesses from 0.0254 to 0.3556 mm over steel backup
material. In fact, a copper-lead layer on steel to provide strength, combined with a babbitt overlay to
enhance surface conformability and corrosion resistance, makes an excellent bearing.
Small bushings and thrust collars are often expected to run with thin-film or boundary lubrication. When
this is the case, improvements over a solid bearing material can be made to add significantly to the life. A
powder-metallurgy bushing is porous and permits the oil to penetrate into the bushing material.
Sometimes such a bushing may be enclosed by oil-soaked material to provide additional storage space.
Bearings are frequently ball-indented to provide small basins for the storage of lubricant while the journal
is at rest. This supplies some lubrication during starting. Another method of reducing friction is to indent
the bearing wall and to fill the indentations with graphite.
In designing journal bearings for hydrodynamic lubrication, the designer usually knows the load that must
be supported (W) and the operating speed (N). , Recall that to determine c of journal bearing, the
Sommerfeld number (S) and l/d have to be known. Since S = (μ.N/P)(r/c)2, there are, in addition to W and
N, four other variables that must be chosen there are: l/d or d, r/c and p. Thus, we can conclude that if
only W and N are known, there are an infinite number of solutions to our problem. There are some basic
guidelines which can be followed in choosing "reasonable" values for these variables. It is the purpose of
this homework to look at only the ratio and see what effects it has on the operating characteristics of
journal bearings if W, N, d, grade of oil and inlet oil temperature are given.
The value of c/r is generally taken from 0.0005 to 0.002 depending on such factors as thermo-elastic
deformation of the journal-bearing system, surface finish of journal, and bearing, tolerances that are
maintained, cleanliness of the lubricating fluid and, maximum permissible fluid temperature. It is of
interest, for a particular bearing application, to determine the effect of c/r on the minimum film thickness,
maximum fluid temperature, power loss and fluid flow.
Assume that the fluid to be used is SAE-20 oil at an inlet temperature of 49°C, N= 60 rps, l/d=1, d=5 cm and
W=6650N. Plot minimum film thickness, maximum fluid temperature, power loss and side fluid flow versus
c/r for 0.0002 < c/r < 0.005. Comment on your results.
1. Use the tables of Raimondi and Boyd
2. The viscosity of the oil can be taken at the average temperature, i.e.
Tave = T1 +ΔT/2
ΔT=Temperature rise = (T2-T1)
T2=Outlet temperature
T1=Inlet temperature
3. For getting the temperature rise, assume that the average flow is Q- Qs/2 and that the grooving
arrangements will not significantly affect the load capacity and pressure distribution in the bearing.
The power loss can be calculated from Hloss = Ff.U, watts.
Ff = friction force, N
U=surface speed, m/s
Shaft speed N 60 rev./s
Inlet oil temperature T1 49oC
Oil SEA ---- 20
Bearing load W 6650N
Journal diameter d 0.05m
Bearing length l 0.05m
Oil density ρ 880 kg/m3
Oil specific heat Cp 1760 j/kgoC
For clearance /radius, 0.0002 ≤c/r ≤ 0.005.
Minimum film thickness ho(mm)
Outlet oil temperature T2 (oC)
Power loss Hloss (w)
Oil side leakage Qs (m3/s)
Basic calculations
Average pressures =P=W/ (l.d) = 6650/(0.05x0.05)= 2.66x106 pa
Surface speed =U=π.d.N= 9.4 m/s
1- For c/r =0.0005
1.1- Assume Tav = 80oC then μ=0.009 pa.s
Sommerfeld number (S) = (μN/P)(r/c)2=[0.009x60/(2.66x106)][1/0.0005]2=0.812
For S=0.812 the charts provide us the following:-
f(r/c)=16 ,Q/rcNl=3.5 and Qs/Q=0.23
Equation (5), ΔT = 111.5oC Or Tave =T1+ ΔT/2=49+111.5/2=104.75oC ˃˃ assumed Tav = 80oC
1.2- Assume Tav = 90oC then μ=0.0068 pa.s
Sommerfeld number (S) =0.812 (0.0068/0.009)= 0.614
f(r/c)=12,Q/rcNl=3.6 and Qs/Q=0.28
Equation (5), ΔT = 83.6oC Or
Tave =T1+ ΔT/2=49+83.6/2=90.8oC = assumed Tav = 90oC
Then for c/r =0.0005,ho/c=0.78 ,ho= 9.75μm,T2=T1+ ΔT = 49+83.6=132.6oC
H=Ff.U = f(r/c) [2πcNW] =376 watts and Qs =0.28Q=0.28[3.6rcNC]=9.45x10-7m3/s
SHEET (1.1)
1- Why does cavitation occur in the divergent zone of the operating journal bearing?
2- Describe the significance of eccentricity ratio ε with respect to journal bearing?
3- What effect does the length of the bearing and the radial clearance have on the overall design of
the bearing?
4- What are the important parameters for designing a journal bearing?
5- Describe the reasons for selecting an L/D ratio of unity.
6- Why do we use Petroff's equation and what are the assumptions on which the Petroff's equation is
based on?
7- Discuss the following:-
a) The Main functions of engine Lubrication oil
b) Hydrodynamic / Boundary/ Hydrostatics lubrication
c) Different forms of lubrication (from engine start to engine full-speed)
d) Sommerfeld number
e) Bearing lubrication stability curve
f) TRUMPLER’S criterion (limitation) for journal bearing design.
8- Define the following:-
a) Lubricant is forced into the bearing at a pressure high enough to separate the surfaces
b) The lubricant pressure is self-generated by the moving surfaces drawing the lubricant
into the wedge formed.
c) The load is sufficiently high enough for the surfaces to elastically deform during the
hydrodynamic action.
d) Lubrication by a liquid under conditions where the solid surfaces are so close together
that appreciable contact between opposing asperities is possible. The physical and
chemical properties of thin surface films are of significant importance while the
properties of the bulk fluid lubricant are insignificant
9- - Chose the correct:-
1. The purpose of lubrication is
a) To reduce friction.
b) To reduce wear.
c) Transfer heat produced.
d) All of above.
2. Which one of them is a correct combination?
1. Boundary lubrication.
2. Hydrodynamic lubrication.
3. Mixed lubrication.
4. Elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication.
i.Dimensionless oil film thickness < 1.
ii. Dimensionless oil film thickness lies between 1 and 3.
iii. Dimensionless oil film thickness lies between 3 and 5.
iv. Dimensionless oil film thickness is greater than 5.
a. 1-(i), 2-(iv), 3-(ii), 4-(iii).
b. 1-(iv), 3-(iii), 2-(i), 4-(ii).
c. 2-(i), 3-(iv), 4-(iii), 1-(ii).
d. 3-(iv), 2-(iii), 1-(i), 4-(ii).
3. As the temperature is increased, the coefficient of friction
a. Increases.
b. Reduces.
c. Remains unchanged.
d. Increase or decrease based on the lubrication regime.
4. In hydrodynamic lubrication the major source of friction is
a. Shearing of lubricant film.
b. Viscosity of lubricant.
c. (a) and (b)
d. None of the above.
5. Due to elastic deformation along the contact patch in elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication, the
maximum value of the pressure:
a) Increases. b) Decreases. c)Remains same.
6. Film thickness in elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication depends on
a. Applied load and relative velocity.
b. Lubricant properties.
c. Properties of contacting materials.
d. All of above.
7. With increase in bearing clearance the load capacity of the bearing
a. Increases.
b. Decreases.
c. Does not change.
d. First decreases and then increases.
8. The lowest friction producing fluid film mechanism is
a. Elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication.
b. Hydrodynamic lubrication.
c. Mixed lubrication.
d. Boundary lubrication.
9. Which of the fluid film lubrication mechanism is suitable for very high loads moving at low
a. Hydrodynamic lubrication.
b. Hydrostatic lubrication.
c. Boundary film lubrication.
d. Aerostatic lubrication.
10. In hydrodynamic lubrication minimum film thickness (hmin), a critical design criterion, is a
function of:
a. Relative velocity (U).
b. Applied load (W).
c. Viscosity.
d. All of above.
11. On what factors the load capacity of a bearing depends?
a. Operational speed of the bearing and contact angle.
b. Lubricant behaviour.
c. Material properties of rings and rolling elements.
d. All of the above.
12. With respect to journal bearing, increasing bearing length would
a. Increase load bearing capacity.
b. Decrease load bearing capacity.
c. First increases and then decreases load bearing capacity.
d. First decreases and then increases load bearing capacity.
13. What are very important factors for design of hydrodynamic bearing for given shaft
a. Bearing clearance, length.
b. Bearing length bore diameter.
c. Both (a) & (b).
d. Bearing thickness.
14. Increase in radial clearance of a journal bearing would:
a.Increase the load bearing capacity
b. Decrease the load bearing capacity.
c. Decrease the supply pressure.
d. Increase the supply pressure.
15. Sommerfeld number S is defined as
a. (r/c) (μ.N/P)
b. (r/c)2(μ.N/P)
c. (c/r) (μ.N/P)
d. (c/r)2(μ.N/P)
16. In a journal bearing the eccentricity is defined as
a. The ratio of the radii of the journal and the bearing.
b. The square of the ratio of the radii of the journal and the bearing.
c. The distance between the centers of the journal and the bearing.
17. In a journal bearing, the oil film thickness is represented by the relation.
a. h=c + e2 .cos (θ)
b. h=c.cos(θ)
c. h= c2 + e.cos (θ)
d. h= c + e. cos (θ)
18. In a journal bearing where c is the clearance and e the eccentricity, the eccentricity ratio ε is
defined as
a. ε= (e/c)2
b. ε= (e/c)
c. ε= (e/c)1/2
d. ε= (c/e)2
19. Cavitation phenomenon in a hydrodynamic journal bearing generally happens in the
a. Convergent zone.
b. Divergent zone.
c. Both (a) and (b)
d. Cavitation does not happen in the journal hearing.
20. In a journal bearing generally how much portion of the hearing supports the load?
a. I/4th of the bearing.
b. 1/2 portion of the bearing.
c. 3/4th portion of the bearing.
d. 100% of the bearing supports the load.
21. In a hydrodynamic journal bearing does the cavitated pressure contribute to the load bearing
a. Yes
b. No
c. To a certain extend.
d. Only 50% of the cavitated pressure contributes to the load bearing capacity
22. For a journal bearing operating in hydrodynamic lubrication regime, the eccentricity depends
a. Load
b. Operating speed
c. Viscosity
d. All of the above.
23. In a hydrodynamic journal bearing if the center of the journal and the bearing coincides it
(a) ε < I ( b) ε >1 (c) ε = 0 (d) 0 < ε < I
24. In a hydrodynamic journal bearing if ε = 1 it means
a. Journal is subjected to very high load and the operating speed is negligible.
b. Journal is subjected to very light load and the operating speed is very high.
c. Journal is subjected to no load and the operating speed is very high.
d. Journal is subjected to no load and the operating speed is moderate.
25. Increase in radial clearance of the bearing would
a. Decrease the load bearing capacity.
b. Increase the lubricant flow rate.
c. Both (a) and (b)
d. None of these.
26. Raimondi and Boyd method
a. Is a finite element method to evaluate bearing performance.
b. Utilizes the charts to evaluate the bearing performance.
c. Considers localized lubricant temperature.
d. Considers effect of pressure on viscosity.
27. The Petroff's equation is used to determine
a. Operating temperature in journal bearing.
b. Viscosity of lubricant in journal hearing.
c. Minimum film thickness in journal bearing.
d. Coefficient of friction in journal bearing.
28. The Petroff's equation is derived using the assumption that the:
a. Journal is concentric with the bearing.
b. Rearing is subjected to light load.
c. Roth (a) and (b).
d. None of these.
29. The two dimensionless parameter used in Petroff's equation are (where r = radius of journal
in mm; c = radial clearance in mm; η = absolute or dynamic viscosity in N-s/mm2; N = journal
speed in rev/sec; p = unit bearing pressure)
a. (r/c )2 and( ηN/p)
b. (r/c ) and( ηN/p)
c. (r/c ) and( ηN/p)2
30. While designing journal bearing low ratio of (c/r) are used for small bearings and high ratio
of (c/r) are used for large bearings.
a) True b) False
31- Decreasing the eccentricity ratio increases the load carrying capacity of the journal bearing
a) True b) False
32- Radial clearance should be small to provide the necessary velocity gradient.
a) True b) False
33- An increase in radial clearance increases the load bearing capacity of the bearing.
a) True b) False
34- For a journal bearing where excessive heat is generated which is more preferred?
a. A journal bearing with a short length.
b. A journal bearing with a long length.
c. Anyone between (a) and (b) can be used.
d. None of these.
35- A slippery bearing material is desirable during starting and stopping, but once the oil film is
established the bearing material is less important.
a) True b) False
36- ____________ is the speed of journal, more will be the oil pulled into the apex of the wedge of oil
in the clearances space and as a result, more supporting pressure will be developed.
a) Lower b) Higher c) Constant d) None of the mentioned
37- An increase in supporting pressure will ____________ the oil film thickness, and decreases the
a) Increases
b) Decreases
c) remains same
d) None of the mentioned
38- If the eccentricity,e is decreased, the supporting pressure must ______because the sides of the
wedge are more nearly parallel
a) Increase
b) Decrease
c) remains same
d) None of the mentioned
SHEET (1.2)
1- A full journal bearing has a journal diameter of 25 mm. The bushing bore has a diameter of 25.03 mm.
The l/d ratio is 1/2. The load is 1.2 kN and the journal runs at 1100 rev/min. If the average viscosity
is 55 mPa.s, find the minimum film thickness, the power loss, and the side flow for the minimum
clearance assembly.
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2- A full journal bearing has a journal diameter of 32 mm.The bushing bore has a diameter of 32.05 mm
.The bearing is 64 mm long. The journal load is 1.75 kN and it runs at a speed of 1800 rev/min.
Using an average viscosity of 55 mPa.s. Find the minimum film thickness, the maximum film
pressure, and the total oil-flow rate for the minimum clearance assembly.
3- A full journal bearing has a shaft journal diameter of 25 mm. The bushing bore has a diameter of 25.04
mm. The l/d ratio is unity. The bushing load is 1.25 kN, and the journal rotates at 1200
rev/min.Analyze the minimum clearance assembly if the average viscosity is 50 mPa.s to find the
minimum oil film thickness, the power loss, and the percentage of side flow.
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4- A journal bearing has a shaft diameter of 75.00 mm. The bushing bore has a diameter of 75.10 mm. The
bushing is 36 mm long and supports a load of 2 kN. The journal speed is 720 rev/min. For the minimum
clearance assembly find the minimum film thickness, the heat loss rate, and the maximum lubricant
pressure for SAE 20 and SAE 40 lubricants operating at an average film temperature of 60°C.
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5- A full journal bearing is 28 mm long. The shaft journal has a diameter of 56 mm . The bushing bore has
a diameter of 56.05 mm. The load is 2.4 kN and the journal speed is 900 rev/min. For the minimum
clearance assembly find the minimum oil-film thickness, the power loss, and the side flow if the
operating temperature is 65°C and SAE 40 lubricating oil is used.
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6- A 31.75x31.75 mm sleeve bearing supports a load of 3.114kN and has a journal speed of 3600 rev/min.
SAE 10 oil is used having an average temperature of 71°C. Estimate the radial clearance for :-
a) Minimum coefficient of friction.
b) b) Maximum load-carrying capacity.
7- A 63.5x 63.5 mm sleeve bearing uses grade 20 lubricant. The axial-groove sump has a steady-state
temperature of 43oC. The shaft journal has a diameter of 63.5mm . The bushing bore has a diameter
of 63.6016mm. The journal speed is 1120 rev/min and the radial load is 5.338kN. Estimate
(a) The magnitude and location of the minimum oil-film thickness.
(b) The eccentricity. (c) The coefficient of friction. (d) The power loss rate. (e) Both the total and
side oil-flow rates. (f) The maximum oil-film pressure and its angular location.
(g) The terminating position of the oil film. (h) The average temperature of the side flow.
(i) The oil temperature at the terminating position of the oil film.
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8- A pressure-fed bearing has a journal diameter of 50.00 mm. The bushing bore diameter is 50.084 mm
.The length of the bushing is 55 mm. Its central annular groove is 5 mm wide and is fed by SAE 30
oil is 55°C at 200 kPa supply gauge pressure. The journal speed is 2880 rev/min carrying a load of
10 kN. The sump can dissipate 300 watts per bearing if necessary. For minimum radial clearances,
perform a design assessment using Trumpler’s criteria.
9- The front main bearing of an eight-cylinder diesel engine has a journal diameter of 87.5 mm .The
bushing bore diameter is 87.625 mm. The bushing length is 50 mm. The pressure-fed bearing has a
central annular groove 6.25 mm wide. The SAE 30 oil comes from a sump at 49oC using a supply
pressure of 345 kPa. The sump’s heat heat-dissipation capacity is 1.46 kW per bearing. For a
minimum radial clearance, a speed of 2000 rev/min, and a radial load of 20.7 kN, find the average
film temperature and apply Trumpler’s criteria in your design assessment.