Thermo-hydrodynamic analysis of a plain journal bearing on the basis of a new mass conserving cavitation algorithm

S. Alakhramsing, Ron van Ostayen, Rob Eling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Accurate prediction of cavitation is an important feature in hydrodynamic bearing modeling. Especially for thermo-hydrodynamic modeling, it is crucial to use a mass-conservative cavitation algorithm. This paper introduces a new mass-conserving Reynolds cavitation algorithm, which provides fast convergence and easy implementation in finite element models. The proposed algorithm is based on a variable transformation for both the pressure and mass fraction, which is presented in the form of a complementary condition. Stabilization in the streamline and crosswind direction is provided by artificial diffusion. The model is completed by including a simple and efficient thermal model and is validated using the numerical values of a reference plain journal bearing experiment under steady-state conditions. In addition, a transient analysis is performed of a journal bearing subjected to a harmonic load. It is shown that the proposed cavitation algorithm results are in good agreement with the reference measurement results. Moreover, the algorithm proves to be stable and requires only a small number of iterations to convergence in the Reynolds-based finite element model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-280
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • cavitation
  • finite element
  • hydrodynamic bearing
  • mass-conserving
  • stabilization
  • THD
  • OA-Fund TU Delft


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