This paper investigates the performance of a seal system for an aerostatic journal bearing used in a high vacuum chamber. The seal system consists of axially spaced viscous seals and annular exhaust grooves that are located between the viscous seals. Each exhaust groove is coupled to a separate vacuum pump in order to achieve a vacuum chamber pressure of less than 10-3 Pa. The vacuum chamber pressure is affected by design parameters such as the number of viscous seal stages, seal length, seal gap, and exhaust tube conductance. The influence of these design parameters on the pressure distribution across seal regions and the vacuum chamber pressure are discussed theoretically. It is subsequently shown that an aerostatic journal bearing with three-stage seal system installed can obtain a reduction in the vacuum chamber pressure almost to the ultimate pressure of a vacuum pump, providing there is no leak or outgassing from materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films