Operational range of a ferrofluid pocket bearing

Jelle Boots, Jo Spronck, Ron van Ostayen, Stefan Lampaert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


Ferrofluid pocket bearings are interesting for fast and precise positioning systems thank to the absence of stick-slip, the low viscous friction and their cost-effective nature. However, the characteristics of the bearing change due to over(de)compression since air escapes out of the enclosed pocket. This article presents an experimentally validated model that includes the air mass inside the pocket in the calculation of the equilibrium position of the ferrofluid bearing. Moreover, a simple and efficient way to obtain the operational range of the bearing is presented and a sensitivity analysis was performed. The sensitivity analysis showed that ferrofluid pocket bearings are always self-aligning and that the tilt stiffness increases when the fly height decreases or the tilt angle increases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115030
Number of pages13
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Precision engineering
  • FEM modelling
  • mathematical modelling
  • hydrostatic bearing
  • magnetics
  • sensitivity analysis


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