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Technical Paper

An Analysis for Floating Bearings in a Turbocharger

A comprehensive analysis has been performed for floating bearings applied in a turbocharger. It is found that Couette power loss for a full-floating bearing (the floating ring rotates) decreases with increasing inner and outer clearances, while its Poiseuille power loss increases with increasing inner and outer film clearances. In comparison with a semi-floating bearing (the floating ring does not rotate), a full-floating bearing can reduce both Couette and Poiseuille power losses. However, floating bearing is found to have a smaller minimum film thickness for a given dynamic loading from rotor-dynamics. The total power loss reduction for typical full-floating bearings ranges from 13% to 27%, which matches well with some published experimental data. In general, the speed ratio increases with increasing outer film clearance, while it decreases with increasing inner film clearance because of shear stresses on the outer and inner film.