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A Design Tool for the Wear Pattern and Thermal Response of Plain Bearings Submersed in Sea Water

Date: November 05, 2013 at 12:00 GMT

This paper presents a design tool to aid the successful design of plain bearings, which are key in Wave Energy Converters (WEC) as the operational lifetime of a bearing directly affects maintenance intervals. The design tool employs an incremental wear model and a finite-difference thermal response model of a plain bearing submersed in sea water.
The wear pattern over time is predicted using the surface velocity, shaft load direction and magnitude. The thermal model investigates the transient temperature response for a given set of waves. The results of the model indicate that transient temperature fluctuations should be considered, even in submerged bearing designs. The results of the
design tool highlight the importance of experimentally derived coefficients for a range of operating temperatures, reinforcing the need for investigation into wear rates with respect to temperature to ensure that the WEC bearings meet the design life requirements. 

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