Study on gas foil bearing for micro gas turbine

An air foil bearing is characterized by a deformable foil which constitutes bearing surface. Comparing with conventional air bearings, It has a superior characteristics on the durability, reliance, load capacity, stiffness, and damping characteristics. Additionally, deformable foil allows more assembly tolerance and misalignment during operation caused by thermal expansion and contraction during driving, so air foil bearings can be used in the applications with extremely low or high temperature environment.

These advantages have expanded the use of air foil bearings from the application in airplane cooling turbine for air conditioning in 1970's to
- Air circulation system for air plane
- Turbopump for rocket engine
- Cryogenic turboexpander
- Micro gas turbine and auxiliary power unit (APU)
- Turbocharger
- Textile spindle
- Heat pump

and it is expected that air foil bearing will be used much more widely in the future.

We have been carried out the performance analysis of air foil bearings including elastic deformation effect of the bearing surface. Accompanying with these, we propose design procedure from the performance analysis of air foil bearings according to the change of foil shape and material. With the help of these results, a proper design guide for air foil bearings will be presented.

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Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.
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