This paper describes the application of modern digital computing equipment to a study of the operating characteristics of journal and thrust bearings. Results of such a study are used in the design of these bearings. As originally programmed for the Card Programmed Calculator, approximations to the pressure distribution, side leakage, and total load in journal bearings were made under the assumptions of rigid bearings and constant temperature. Present development of the type 650 Magnetic Drum Calculator permits a more rigorous solution accounting for variations in viscosity and density of the lubricant, as well as any prescribed shape of the oil film. Faster and more precise solutions are possible both for thrust and journal bearings. In addition to the calculation of pressure, temperature profile, flow, and load, results for the thrust bearing include a determination of the moments acting on the bearing sector, and a consequent locating of the center of pressure. A numerical example and a computer flow chart are included as guides to the design engineer. Operating techniques, time, and cost factors also are discussed to throw light on the application of a computer from both the engineering and economic standpoints. A derivation of the governing equations in dimensionless form is contained in the Appendix.

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