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Bearing apparatus having electrorheological fluid lubricant

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The present invention, as variously practiced, implements electrorheological fluid (ERF) as a bearing lubricant. Various modes of an inventive rolling element bearing apparatus provide for electrification of inventive electrode components, viz: (first mode) two annular disk electrodes, opposite each other and perpendicular to the two raceway surfaces; or, (second mode) electrically conductive inner and outer races, having an electrically conductive spacer therebetween; or, (third mode) plural electrodes, radially embedded in a race. An ERF lubricative coating remains on one or both raceway surfaces in accordance with Winslow effect principle (first and second modes) or edge effect principle (third mode). An inventive journal bearing apparatus provides for electrification of electrodes that are axially-longitudinally embedded in a journal bearing member, resulting in establishment of edge effect electric flux lines between adjacent electrode pairs, an ERF lubricative coating thereby remaining on the journal bearing member's inward facing surface, contiguous to the shaft.

Reitz, Ronald P.; Plangetis, Gus F.
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Technical domain: 
Mechanical and Fluid Systems
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Grant time: 
1,057 days
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