Nathan Mayer


Journal bearings are a fundamental component in many pieces of machinery. A properly designed bearing is capable of supporting large loads in rotating systems with minimal frictional energy losses and virtually no wear even after years of services. These benefits make an understanding of dynamic behavior of these devices very valuable. In applications where journal bearings are subject to misalignment (conditions where the journal and sleeve axes are not parallel), it has long been understood that bearing performance can be compromised. To eliminate this problem, self-aligning bearings have been designed. The sleeves of these bearings are capable of moving freely to accommodate misalignment. The aligning motion of these bearings under dynamic loading is, however, largely unexplored. Additionally, the impact of misalignment on journal midplane motion is unknown. Currently, finite element and finite difference analyses are the only available tools for this kind of work. This requires a unique and computationally costly mathematical solution for every possible bearing configuration. It is the goal of this thesis to develop a computationally efficient means of predicting journal motion within a self-aligning bearing. This is done by creating a set of "mobility" mapping functions from finite element bearing models that relate the velocity of the journal to the applied load. Such maps have previously been built and used successfully for the design of perfectly aligned bearings. This expansion of the mobility method to self-aligning bearings provides a valuable tool for the designer and gives valuable insight into the journal motion for these devices.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Journal bearings; Bearings (Machinery)--Design and construction; Machinery--Alignment

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Stephen Boedo

Advisor/Committee Member

Hany Ghoneim

Advisor/Committee Member

Josef S. Török


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes