An experiment was undertaken to study the vortex flow regime in a journal bearing with small clearance ratio of C/R = 0.006 and length-to-diameter ratio of L/D = 1. Flow pattern visualizations and torque measurements were performed for a concentric case(ε = o) and two eccentric cases(ε = 0.15, 0.25).
The occurrence of the Taylor vortices was identified by a break in the slope of the friction torque versus journal speed curve or the torque coefficient versus Reynolds number curve. The position of the break was in good agreement with the flow visualization results. For small eccentricities the transition points could be predicted by Taylor's criterion for concentric cylinders.
For a eccentric case(ε = 0.25) there existed a flow pattern that at the downstream of the minimum clearance no vortices were observed with the naked eye, while at the downstream of the maximum clearance vortices occurred markedly.