Whiffletree based supports for self-adjustable hydrostatic bearings

Vincent van Parijs, Joep Nijssen, Ron van Ostayen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Hydrostatic bearings are superior in terms of their friction and load carrying characteristics when compared to contact based bearings, but non-usable in applications with non-constant curvature counter surfaces. A possible solution to this limitation is the introduction of deformable hydrostatic bearings components that cope with these required deformations. To reduce the required deformation of a single bearing pad, multiple pads can be connected through a so-called whiffletree support system. In this work, a symmetric whiffletree based hydrostatic bearing embodiment is introduced. A 2D quasi-static model is introduced that allows for determining the kinetostatic and path following properties of such a type of bearing. Design considerations are given regarding the joint rotational-, normal-, and shear stiffness of each individual joint, as well as basic bearing layout. The potential of a whiffletree suspended bearing is presented through the use of a case study.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in Mechanical Engineering
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • compliant mechanisms
  • deformable bearings
  • hydrostatic bearing
  • mechanism design
  • Whiffletree


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