Innovative Passive Magnetic Thrust Bearings for High-Speed Turbomachinery

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-11-C-0470
Agency Tracking Number: N10A-037-0752
Amount: $749,696.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: N10A-T037
Solicitation Number: 2010.A
Small Business Information
200 Yellow Place, Pines Industrial Center, Rockledge, FL, -
DUNS: 175302579
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Thomas Lasko
 PI/Mechanical Engineer
 (321) 631-3550
 tml@mainstream-engr.com
Business Contact
 Michael Rizzo
Title: CFO
Phone: (321) 631-3550
Email: mar@mainstream-engr.com
Research Institution
 University of Colorado at Boulder
 Ryan Starkey
 ECOT 634 Engineering Center
Campus Box 429
Colorado, CO, 80309-
 (303) 735-4900
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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