John Crane - A division of Smiths Group

New program shows temperature and pressure distribution

A customer had a series of gearboxes in the field which were experiencing repeat failures of competitors bearings. They asked Orion to analyze the current (non-Orion) bearing designs, to determine if they were properly designed and to recommend performance improvements. To add to the complexity of the task, there were 14 bearings in the gearbox all drawing oil from a common header.

Orion used a newly developed program for multi-lobe bearings. The new program more accurately defined the bearing and flow requirements using the bearing pocket and groove oil pressures.

Using the new program, Orion was able to balance the oil flow needs of each bearing against the available oil flow. The analysis showed that even after rebalancing the oil flow, two of the bearings were not properly designed to carry the loads. A redesign of two thrust bearings was required to provide satisfactory temperatures in the pads. The program shows the temperature and pressure distribution on the thrust bearing pads as shown in the photo on the right.

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