A hydrostatic radial bearing which employs the resistance to compression of incompressible liquid or highly compressed gas, or mixture of both, held captive within the bearing case to support the bearing shaft radially and also keep it aligned with the bearing housing's central axis.
This is achieved by giving the bearing case hemispherical end walls and sealing flanges such that any lateral deviation or angular deflection of the bearing shaft from being concentric with the bearing housing and aligned with its median axis will cause the shaft to have a greater portion of its length reside inside of the bearing case, taking up a greater volume within its sealed chamber and thereby causing its working fluid to experience compression, which the latter will resist and thus work to prevent or reduce.
Expected advantages are reduction in friction and a certain amount of allowed angular and lateral/radial play of the bearing shaft, which also facilitates dampening lateral shock loadings experienced by the shaft.
Components and their roles, as seen in the images provided.
- White: bearing shaft.
- Fuchsia and Blue: halves of the bearing case. They fit together forming a gas and liquid tight seal with each other and, together with the bearing's other components, serve to contain incompressible liquid, highly compressed gas or a mixture of the two inside the bearing, for the purpose of supporting the shaft radially and also keeping it aligned (or as near to as possible) with the bearing's central axis.
- Red and Green: respective constituent parts of either of two sealing flanges, held together with bolts (yellow/gold), their purpose, together with the spherical ring bushings, is to enable sealing the inside of the bearing from the outside in a mechanically robust fashion while, at the same time, also allowing for some freedom of lateral displacement and angular deflection of the bearing shaft.
- Teal: two retaining flanges. They keep the sealing flanges firmly seated against the bearing end walls for a gas and liquid tight seal and also limit the allowed degree of rotation of the sealing flanges through the use of pins protruding from the inward surfaces of the sealing flanges which reside inside of circular depressions machined in the outward surfaces of the retaining flanges.
- Magenta: the two retaining rings that hold the retaining flanges in place, keeping them from dislodging away from the end walls of the bearing housing.
- Mauve/Purple: the cylindrical locking dowels which slot into matching circular depressions drilled into both the retaining flanges and the bearing's end walls so as to keep the retaining flanges and, in turn, the sealing flanges and spherical ring bushings from spinning along with the bearing shaft.
- Dark grey: the various ring seals which ensure that the inside of the bearing is hermetically sealed from the outside. There are seals fitted inside of circular recesses machined out of the spherical ring bushings, the two parts of either sealing flange and the two halves of the bearing housing.