Optimizing bearing performance is based on effective lubrication, especially in high-speed machinery, where minimizing churning and drag losses is of significant importance. Over the past few decades, extensive research has been conducted into the better understanding of different aspects of bearing lubrication. These investigations have employed a combination of experimental methods and advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models. This article provides a comprehensive overview of critical aspects of bearing lubrication, with a specific emphasis on recent advances in CFD models. Lubricant flow and distribution patterns are discussed while examining their impact on drag and churning losses. An extensive discussion is provided on the meshing strategies and modeling approaches used to simulate various flow phenomena within bearings. In addition, relevant trends and impacts of cage design on bearing lubrication and fluid friction have been explored, along with a discussion of prevailing limitations that can be addressed in future bearing CFD models.


This is the author-accepted manuscript of Sadeghi, F; Arya, U.; Aamer, S.; and Meinel, A. (2024) A Review of Computational Fluid Dynamics Approaches Used to Investigate Lubrication of Rolling Element Bearings." Journal of Tribology 146(10). Published by ASME, it is shared here with permission, and the version of record is available at DOI: 10.1115/1.4065663.


rolling element bearing (REB), lubrication, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), oil flow, oil starvation, fluid film lubrication, fluid, friction, hydrodynamic lubrication

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