This study experimentally investigated the possibility of controlling the static lubrication characteristics of hydrodynamic journal bearings by cooling and heating locally. A test rig of a plain journal bearing was built to observe the pressure and temperature distributions, bearing eccentricity, attitude angle, frictional torque, and flow rate. The bush was assembled with three block parts in which polyoxymethylene plates were inserted to insulate heat. The rotating journal was supported by rolling element bearings, and a load was applied to the bearing bush by leverage and using dead-weights. A Peltier device and a rubber heater were mounted on the bearing bush. The temperature and pressure sensors were installed circumferentially in the bush. The eccentricity was monitored using contacting displacement sensors. The temperature of the bearing bush was changed such that the viscosity of the lubricating oil was controlled. The load, rotational speed, and oil viscosity were considered the main experimental parameters. When the bearing bush close to the minimum clearance was cooled, the fluid pressure changed and the bearing eccentricity decreased, suggesting an increase in minimum clearance.
2016 by Japanese Society of Tribologists