Scroll Compressor, Lubrication, EHL, Thrust Slide Bearing, Tribology, Fluid Lubrication
This paper presents the concept of the Elasto-Hydrodynamic Lubrication (EHL) effect for the thrust slide-bearings in scroll compressors, which accounts for the superior lubrication characteristics of these bearings. The thrust plate undergoes elastic deformation due to axial loading, resulting in the formation of a fluid wedge between the orbiting and fixed thrust plates, a region with very high induced oil film pressure which, in turn, accounts for the remarkably good lubrication characteristics of the thrust slide-bearing. Furthermore, the high oil film pressure induces further elastic deformation of the thrust plate, which forms a lubrication pocket with the thrust plate, more effectively increasing the oil film pressure between the sliding surfaces. The formation of the lubrication pocket was confirmed using FEM analysis and lubrication tests on the elastic deformation of the thrust plate. Subsequently a computer simulation flow chart to analyze the elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication of thrust slide-bearing is presented.