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Inverted Foil Bearing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238216D
Publication Date: 2014-Aug-09
Document File: 5 page(s) / 382K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Walter Lee Meacham: INVENTOR [+2]

Abstract

Foil bearings have numerous applications in a large variety of turbo-machinery such as Air Cycle Machines (ACM’s), Gas Turbine Engines and also in applications where rotor systems are rotating at very high speeds. The oil lubricated bearing system used in gas turbine engines has been a known contributor to oil leakage and potential odor in the cabin. Foil bearings eliminates the use of such conventional oil lubricated bearing system in recently design configurations. The problem associated with foil bearings is the requirement of additional space to support the rotor of the turbo-machinery, which increases the length and weight of the rotor system. The additional requirement of space can make it infeasible to replace an oil lubricated support system with a foil bearing in an existing system. The proposed inverted foil bearing system provides the solution for the above mentioned problem. The compactness of the inverted foil bearing reduces the length and weight of the rotating assembly as compared to the foil bearing. Additionally, the compactness of the inverted foil bearing also provides the ability to incorporate it into an existing rotating system without any major structural changes.

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Page 01 of 5

Inverted Foil Bearing

Walter Lee Meacham and Marshall Saville ABSTRACT

Foil bearings have numerous applications in a large variety of turbo-machinery such as Air Cycle Machines (ACM's), Gas Turbine Engines and also in applications where rotor systems are rotating at very high speeds. The oil lubricated bearing system used in gas turbine engines has been a known contributor to oil leakage and potential odor in the cabin. Foil bearings eliminates the use of such conventional oil lubricated bearing system in recently design configurations. The problem associated with foil bearings is the requirement of additional space to support the rotor of the turbo-machinery, which increases the length and weight of the rotor system. The additional requirement of space can make it infeasible to replace an oil lubricated support system with a foil bearing in an existing system. The proposed inverted foil bearing system provides the solution for the above mentioned problem. The compactness of the inverted foil bearing reduces the length and weight of the rotating assembly as compared to the foil bearing. Additionally, the compactness of the inverted foil bearing also provides the ability to incorporate it into an existing rotating system without any major structural changes.


1. Introduction

Rotating system such as turbo-machinery is extensively used in the aerospace industry such as, but not limited to, gas turbine engine and has numerous ground based application to produce the energy, power or thrust. One of an important function of the gas turbine engine is to provide bleed air to an aircraft. This gas turbine engine usually contains a bearing system and a gear drive train that requires oil lubrication. Presence of oil lubricated components in the gas turbine engine could result in complaints regarding to oil leakage and odor in the cabin. Hence, it was desirable to have an oil free bearing system or foil bearing on such devices.


Page 02 of 5

In an existing configuration, foil bearing plays an important functional role. The main purpose of use of a foil bearing in the turbo-machinery or any other rotating system is to remove the conventional oil lubricated bearing system and use the process fluid as the lubricant. The foil bearing described in the existing art has been working well in a large variety of turbo-machinery. In the existing state of the art, the bearing housing (static support) is located external to a rotating journal. Between the bearing housing and the rotating journal is a foil bearing, which comprises a backing spring and top foil. The problem associated with foil bearing is that the foil bearing typically requires a larger area to support a rotor, which requires additional space in an existing configuration. Hence, the integration of foil bearing increases the length of a rotor system which results in greater weight and potential dynamic issues.

The load carrying capacity of any shaft or journal depends upon the shaft or journa...