Passive shape shifting: A compliant design approach for full film bearings

Joep Nijssen*, Ron van Ostayen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In tribotronic bearing design active components are used to adapt bearing performance to operating conditions. The principle of self-adaptive bearings has also been presented in literature in which a passive modification of geometry was used for a variation in conditions. This work presents an alternative design approach for self-adaptive bearings. This approach is focused on the shift between two known bearing geometries, where each of them is the preferred solution in a part of the operating regime. Using compliant elements in the bearing design allows for passive shape shifting. Four examples are presented which present this behavior for variable velocity and load conditions. The design approach could possibly provide a cheaper alternative for simple active bearing designs, or could be combined with active components in a tribotronics design to improve existing performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8013-8024
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • compliant mechanisms
  • full film bearings
  • mechanism design
  • self-adaptive
  • Shape shifting
  • tribotronics


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