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Microturbo pump Utilizing Microball Bearings

This project presents the development of a microfabricated turbopump which is capable of delivering fuel with the flow rates and pressures required for portable power generation. The device is composed of a spiral-groove viscous pump that is driven by a radial in-flow air turbine and supported using a novel encapsulated microball bearing.

At first, the encapsulated microball bearing and methods to investigate the wear and friction behaviors were developed. Two primary raceway designs, point-contact and planar-contact designs, were developed with the key design factor being wearing of the raceway. A modification to the planar-contact design was made for the final turbopump that reduced both wear and debris generation.

Second, two air turbine platforms were developed using the encapsulated microball bearings to characterize both the bearing and the turbine drive mechanism. A tangential air turbine platform was first developed and characterized using the point-contact bearing mechanism.
Author: Waits, Christopher Michael
Source: University of Maryland

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