SBIR 95-1 SOLICITATION
RELIABLE, ECONOMICAL BEARING CARTRIDGE FOR SPACE APPLICATION
Current knowledge of the lubrication requirements of ball bearings operating in the EHD regime
coupled with the fact that, for such operation ball separation is unnecessary makes possible, for the first
time, a fully coherent analytical bearing design. This bearing design requires only a reliable lubricant
delivery /storage system able to deliver a continuous low flow directly to the ball race contacts. The
thin films of fresh lubricant required for healthy contacts can be provided, for a given life time
requirement, from a centrifugally pressurized reservoir controlled by flow restrictors.
The innovation embodied in this proposal will expand on the development of flow restrictors. The
elaborate machining and difficult characterization of the previous method render the process non-
reproducible. Various fabrication methods to produce interfacial surface conditions together with the
possible use of controlled porosity media will be examined. Flow tests with restrictors will be
performed and evaluated for simplicity and repeatability. A straw set of performance requirements,
including flow rate and life, will be generated for a typical space application and a cartridge design will
generated to meet these requirements.
Potential Commercial Applications:
Space mechanisms, which require stable performance and long term reliability,
such as, momentum and reaction wheel assemblies; scanners; control moment gyros; and filter wheels.
Name and Address of Offeror:
The Bearing Consultants, LLP
1063 Turnpike Street
Stoughton, MA 02072
Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) &
Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) Programs
Electronic Management System (EMS)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
The SBIR/STTR EMS site is maintained by Steve
Hu, Hughes STX.
For comments and questions, contact
Updated: Feb. 7, 1996