Oil Envelopment, Oil Film Pressure, EHL, Thrust Slide-Bearing, Scroll Compressor
This paper presents the concept of the Elasto-Hydrodynamic Lubrication?EHL?of thrust slide-bearings in scroll compressors, resulting in the superior lubrication characteristics of these bearings. The thrust plate undergoes elastic deformation due to axial loading, resulting in the formation of a uniform fluid wedge between the orbiting and fixed thrust plates. This wedge region has very high induced oil film pressure, which explains the remarkably good lubrication characteristics of the thrust slide-bearing. Furthermore, the high oil film pressure induces further local elastic deformation of the thrust plate, forming an EHL oil pocket with the thrust plate and a further increase in the oil film pressure between the sliding surfaces due to this oil envelopment. The formation of the EHL pocket was confirmed using FEM analysis and lubrication tests on the elastic deformation of the thrust plate. Subsequently, the additional increase in oil film pressure, due to the EHL pocket effect, was examined in computer simulations applying the average Reynolds equation for the boundary of elastic deformation of the thrust plate. In these studies, a 6.7% increase in oil film pressure was ascertained for a small cooling capacity scroll compressor driven at 3600 rpm with 0.1 kW motor. The oil envelopment contributes to the superior lubrication performance of the thrust slide bearings scroll compressors.