Repair • Retrofit • Design • Align

Designing Water-Bearing Test Bench

Lignum Vitae Stern Tube Bearing Design

In this study, a Bearing Test Bench was designed to assess wear rates under various loading conditions and to collect critical parameter data for water-lubricated bearing materials in the hydroelectric industry. 

The research focused on sliding bearings, particularly fluid film bearings using lubricant to create a thin film between bearing and journal surfaces. The study identified three major lubrication regimes and emphasized the importance of operational parameters for optimal hydrodynamic film formation. 

Water-lubricated bearings were highlighted for environmental benefits, and a survey of current testing methods and standards revealed inconsistencies. The constructed test bench adhered to DNV-CP-0081 geometry, allowing for the examination of various bearing materials. Torque sensors, flow sensors, and a programmable logic controller facilitated comprehensive testing, enabling the evaluation of wear rates for materials like Guaiacum officinale and polyurethane elastomer. 

The results underscored the significance of test duration in determining wear patterns, emphasizing the need for standardized reporting methods. The study recommended ongoing testing, protocol development, and increased sample observations to refine wear rate reporting for water-lubricated bearings in hydroelectric applications. 

Acknowledgements were made to contributors and financial supporters, concluding with references to existing recommendations for water lubrication in marine propeller shaft bearings.