Analysis of two phase flow in liquid oxygen hybrid journal bearings for rocket engine turbopumps

Guoyuan Zhang, Xiu Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A hybrid bearing of advanced cryogenic rocket engine turbopump is designed. For cryogenic fluid propellants (such as liquid oxygen) as the lubrication of bearing, bearings operating close to liquid-vapor region (near the critical point or slightly sub-cooled) are likely to develop a two phase flow region. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
In this paper, an all liquid, liquid-vapor mixture, and all vapor, i.e. a continuous vaporization bulk flow model of density and viscosity for mixture fluid, is presented, and the general Reynolds equation and energy equation with two phase flow as lubricants is solved. The static and dynamic performance of a 50-mm-radius hybrid bearing are obtained under 20,000?rpm speed and 10 MPa supply pressure.

The results show that the variations of performance of bearing operating under cryogenic liquid oxygen are not bounded by the all liquid and all vapor cases in the liquid-vapor mixture range. There behaviours are attributed to the large change in the compressibility character of the flow.

For validating the correctness of analytical model, an experimental study on the liquid-vapor nitrogen mixture lubricated hybrid journal bearings is being carried out where low-viscosity nitrogen was selected as the lubricant for the sake of safety. Soon after, the authors will discuss the results and publish them in the new papers.

An all liquid, liquid-vapor mixture, and all vapor, i.e. a continuous vaporization bulk flow model of density and viscosity for mixture fluid, is presented. The static and dynamic performance of hybrid bearings with two phase flow as lubricants are obtained.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
Journal Industrial Lubrication and Tribology
Volume 66
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • bearings
  • viscosity
  • lubrication
  • pumps

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