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Innovative Passive Magnetic Thrust Bearings for High-Speed Turbomachinery

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place Rockledge, FL 32955-5327
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Innovative Passive Magnetic Thrust Bearings for High-Speed Turbomachinery
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Contract: N00014-11-C-0470
Award Amount: $749,696.00


In miniature gas turbines for UAV applications, traditional bearings exhibit a typical lifetime of only 25 hours due to excessive axial loading. Mainstream proposed a passive permanent magnet thrust bearing to alleviate this problem and increase service life to over 1000 hours. Since this type of bearing is non-contacting, it can operate at very high rotational speeds with minimal heat generation and extended operating life. Mainstream"s Phase I design highlighted the advantages of using passive magnetic bearings for this application: Non-contact operation Sufficient force capacity Sufficient stiffness to maintain axial tolerance Size similar to traditional bearings These advantages have been shown through both simulation and static testing. The tests of the prototype demonstrated a 201 N load capacity, meeting the project goals. The remaining tests in Phase II will show how these bearings perform at high rotational speeds and in a gas turbine environment. Upon the conclusion of Phase II, passive magnetic bearings will prove to be a viable solution for UAV miniature turbines and other military and commercial applications.

Principal Investigator:

Thomas Lasko
PI/Mechanical Engineer
(321) 631-3550

Business Contact:

Michael Rizzo
(321) 631-3550
Small Business Information at Submission:

Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place Pines Industrial Center Rockledge, FL -

EIN/Tax ID: 592744408
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
University of Colorado at Boulder
ECOT 634 Engineering Center
Campus Box 429
Colorado, CO 80309-
Contact: Ryan Starkey
Contact Phone: (303) 735-4900