A differential equation is obtained for the smoothed “overall” pressure distribution around a herringbone-grooved, gas-lubricated journal bearing operating with a variable film thickness. The equation is based on the limiting case of an idealized bearing for which the number of grooves approaches an infinite number. A numerical solution to the differential equation is obtained valid for small eccentricities. This solution includes the case where the journal is undergoing steady circular whirl. In addition to the usual plain bearing parameters L/D, Λ, and whirl speed ratio ω3/(ω1 + ω2), the behavior of a grooved bearing also depends on four additional parameters: The groove angle β, the relative groove width α, the relative groove depth H0, and a compressibility number, Λs, which is based on the relative speed between the grooved and smooth members of the bearing. Results are presented showing bearing radial force and attitude angle as functions of β, α, H0, Λs, Λ, and whirl speed ratio.

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