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Diamond Element BeaRings with Air-cooling

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DEBRA (Diamond Element BeaRings with Air-cooling)

Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2020-01-31

This programme is aimed at developing novel non-lubricated air cooled bearings that would give a step change in minimising the engine oil system and its complexity. The project aims to achieve this by developing air cooled bearings using super hard materials. The novelty is in the surface finish of the rolling elements and mating surfaces which can be improved substantially relative to today’s bearing materials such that heat generation and frictional wear is minimised. This would lead to a substantial simplification of the engine architecture, reduced weight, cost and higher efficiency. This would lead to a substantial reduction in the fuel consumption and emissions from the engine.
For the first time produced spherical Poly-crystalline Diamond spheres at around 12mm diameter, these are being polished to nm accuracy, again a first. A TRL 3 test facility has been upgraded for testing conventional and PCD rolling elements for comparison. Instrumentation has been designed and installed to measure the performance of the different bearing configurations. Thermal and mechanical modelling is has been performed to show the benefits of PCD material and will be used to optimise the bearing geometry for PCD Hybrid bearings for reduced heat generation, friction and air cooling.
PCD rolling elements manufactured for the first time, lapping such large diameter PCD for the first time to Nm accuracy. The progress shows the potential for producing a non-lubricated air cooled bearing for the aerospace industry which would reduce fuel consumption and costs significantly.
Novel Hybrid Bearing