An application of newton’s method to the lubrication analysis of air-lubricated bearings

Nenzi Wang*, Chinyuan Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

41 Scopus citations


This study deals with the development of a computational procedure for solving the isothermal compressible Reynolds equation as the governing equation of air-bearing analysis. Newton’s method is used to linearize Reynolds equation and an iterative successive relaxation process is adopted to solve for the air film pressure. The optimal value of relaxation factor for the cases studied is suggested in this report for numerical stability and computational efficiency. The model is verified numerically by examining the conservation of mass flow of the lubricant. The dimensional analysis of the governing equation permits the model to be readily applied to any given film geometry. The computer model developed can evaluate the air film pressure distribution, load capacity, frictional force, and mass flow of an air bearing. The proposed computational scheme efficiently analyzes the performance of air-lubricated journal bearings at large eccentricity ratios. A similar procedure can be employed to investigate the performance of highspeed noncircular air bearing or gas-lubrication film under slip-flow conditions. This study gives an analytical basis for the design of orifice-compensated externally pressurized air-lubricated bearing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-424
Number of pages6
JournalTribology Transactions
Issue number2
StatePublished - 01 01 1999


  • Air bearings
  • Gas bearings
  • Gas lubrication


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