Cool demonstration of aerodynamic bearings

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I’ve seen hydrodynamic bearings in action on a massive flywheel generator that powered a cyclotron. It was impressive how such a large mass (230 tons) only rested on two of those bearings.


This guy did a fantastic job of condensing my graduate engineering tribology class minus the math. Well done!

Couple side notes:

  • Any place you see oil, grease, or other fluid used for lubrication is a hydrodynamic bearing. Car engines, door hinges, eyelids. Got arthritis? Your hydrodynamic bearings are failing.
  • The most common place you may have experienced an air bearing is with mechanical hard drives. The read/write head floats above the spinning disk on a layer of air. So HDDs don’t work in a vacuum.
  • The only quibble I had with the first video was the explanation of the disk demo as an example of wedge bearings. I’m pretty sure it’s step bearings given the position of the tilt bearing and the fact it works rotating in either direction.
  • The syringe rotating is a wedge bearing, and moving axially is a step bearing (or hybrid).

Woot Kingsbury Bearings, named after the same guy the engineering building at my university is named after, Albert Kingsbury.


Indication of a well done educational video: “ok, i’ll watch a bit of this…” [ends up watching to the end and wanting more]. Thank you!


Thats my new word for today. At first I thought it might be a Star Trek reference.


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