Research Journal Bearings

Since the foundation of the institute in 1969 (Prof. Seifert) the research on journal bearings is an inherent part of the institute. Especially since the completion of the test rig for large turbine journal bearings in 1985, experimental and theoretical studies on radial journal bearings and sealing systems have been conducted continuously in the context of dissertations and industrial projects. Due to its unique equipment, the test rig is able to measure turbine bearings in original size and gather film thickness and pressure distributions in very high resolution in both circumferential and axial direction.


Exemplary measurement capabilities

  • Lubrication film thickness and pressure distribution across the running surface
  • Identification of turnover point: turbulent flow - laminar flow
  • Measurement of surface deformation during operation
  • Determination of limit load-carrying capacity
  • Determination of dynamic properties
  • Detection of the temperature condition
  • Determination ot minimum requirement of oil

Measured oil film thickness and pressure distribution:


Measured turnover point, turbulent flow - laminar flow and measured temperature distribution :



  • Sensor technology for recording the film thickness, pressure and temperature distribution
  • Sensors for determining relative movement between shaft and bearing
  • A/D converter with 32 channels for dynamic measurement data
  • Datalogger with over 300 channels for static measurement data
  • Monitoring the oil supply
  • Measuring system in the shaft in combination with a displacement device

Technical specifications

  • Shaft diameter: 500 mm
  • Driving power: 1,2 MW
  • Bearing width: max. 500 mm
  • Bearing outer diameter: max. 1000 mm
  • Speed: up to 4000 rpm
  • Steady radial force: vertical, up to 1 MN
  • Unsteady force: up to 100 kN at 60 Hz
  • Oil supply up to 60 l/s at max. 6 bar
  • hydrostatic system to ensure a wear-free start- up

The Team

  Michael Stottrop
  IC 1 / 173

  Alexander Engels
  IC 1 / 51

Project Partners