Comparison Testing of Fixed and Floating Bearing Housing Seals

Wheeler Industries, Inc has utilized its fluid film bearing test rig, which is capable of running speeds of over 16,500 sfm and loads over 10,000 pounds, to study the performance of both fixed and floating journal bearing end seals. The tilting pad journal bearings were fitted with various seal designs and then tested up to full load and full speed operation. The temperature effects on the journal bearing caused by the seals was the most important parameter to be studied. Tests were conducted using various lubricants and various seal and bearing configurations.

Tests showed that the fixed end seal enabled the journal bearing to operate at a lower temperature. The fixed seal design enables the side leakage flow from the bearing to be quickly discharged and thereby reduces the churning losses in the bearing. Reduced churning losses reduces the journal bearing oil carry over and therefore the overall temperature rise in the bearing. Seal tests could be extended to study various configurations, radial clearances and oil drain sizes in order to optimize the seal configuration.

To learn more about the Wheeler Industries, Inc. Seal Test Program contact us.