Multifunctional bushing for a gas foil bearing - design and physical prototype construction using 3D printing technology
Gas Foil Bearings (GFB)s are a subgroup of hydrodynamic bearings. However, unlike in typical journal bearings, GFB are lubricated by surrounding air, with no use of any type of oil or grease. The unique feature of GFB is a compliant structure, which improves dynamic properties of the bearing. GFB offers a wide range of the properties, unavailable for the traditional bearings, like ability to operate with extremely high rotation speed in a wide temperature range. However GFBs are also prone to specific issues related to thermal management. Until now, there are only a few known experiments directed towards gaining comprehensive knowledge on the phenomena of thermomechanical coupling ongoing in operating GFBs. This paper presents an attempt to utilize rapid prototyping techniques for design process of the GFB bushing equippedwith multiple strain gauges and temperature sensors. The design process applied by the authors consists of CAD model elaboration followed by preparation of a 3D printed bushing, used to visualize geometric form of a physical prototype and confirm its functionality in reference to the scheduled measurements. The work shows a novel implementation of the rapid prototyping technique used for designing GFB bushing equipped with multiple sensors of various types.
Keywordsgas foil bearing rapid prototyping 3D printing mechatronic design thermal stability loss
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The authors acknowledge the project „Mechanisms of stability loss in high-speed foil bearings - modeling and experimental validation of thermomechanical couplings”, no. 2017/27/B/ST8/01822 financed by the National Science Center, Poland.
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