The Development of Long Life, Liquid Mercury Lubricated Bearings for the Sunflower Rankine Cycle Power System 640241
This paper outlines the development of the journal and thrust bearings used in the Sunflower turboalternator. It discusses the general operation of the typical Rankine cycle space system; the types of bearings considered for this application and their desirable characteristics; and the factors which influence life capability. Details of the bearings finally selected are given. The procedures and results of four turboalternator tests which incorporated the bearings are discussed. The major conclusion reached is that experience and technology exist today that permit accomplishment of space power life requirements with a Mercury Rankine System.