A multiphase computational study of oil-air flow within the bearing sector of Aeroengines, ASME GT2015-43496

Adeniyi, AA, Morvan, HP and Simmons, KA (2015) A multiphase computational study of oil-air flow within the bearing sector of Aeroengines, ASME GT2015-43496. In: ASME Turbo Expo 2015: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition, June 15–19, 2015, Heat Transfer Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1115/GT2015-43496


The bearing chamber of an aeroengine houses roller bearings and other structural parts. The spatial limitation, high operational speeds of the HP shaft and the proximity to the combustion chamber can make the operating conditions of the bearing chamber challenging. A roller bearing consists of an inner race, an outer race and a cage constraining a number of rolling elements. In the aeroengine application, oil is introduced into the bearing chamber via the inner race regions of the bearing into the rolling elements interstices. This provides lubrication for the roller bearings. The source of heat in the bearing chamber is mainly from rolling contact friction and the high temperature of combustion. Cooling results from the oil transport within the bearing chamber and thus an efficient transport of oil is critical to maintaining the integrity of the entire structure. The bearing chamber contains the oil which is eventually scavenged and recycled for recirculation. Experiments have been conducted over the years on bearing chamber flows but often simplified to create the best emulation of the real aeroengine. The complexity of the bearing chamber structure is also challenging for experimental measurements of the oil characteristic in the roller bearing elements and the bearing chamber compartment. Previous experiments have shown that the oil continuum breaks up in the bearing chamber compartment but it is not quantitatively clear how and what parameters affect these. Previous simulation attempt of bearing chamber, also, have been limited by the boundary conditions for the oil. This work presents a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) transient simulation of flow in the bearing sector in an attempt create boundary conditions for such models. The current results show that the oil emerges in the form of droplets into the bearing chamber compartment with speed of the order of 10% of the shaft rotation.

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