Hyundai WIA has been granted a patent for an air foil journal bearing that can prevent movement of a buffer member in the bearing housing. The bearing includes a hollow part for the shaft, stopping grooves, a top foil covering the shaft, and a buffer member supporting the top foil. The first stopper on the top foil fits into the first stopping groove, while the second stopper fits into the second stopping groove. The stoppers and grooves are connected along the circumferential direction of the bearing and have different radial directions. GlobalData’s report on Hyundai WIA gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Hyundai WIA, EV integrated thermal mgmt was a key innovation area identified from patents. Hyundai WIA's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Patent granted for an air foil journal bearing design

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Hyundai WIA Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11655847B2) describes an air foil journal bearing that aims to improve the stability and performance of rotating shafts. The bearing includes a bearing housing with a hollow part where a shaft is inserted. The hollow part features two stopping grooves along its inner circumferential surface. A top foil is placed in the hollow part, covering the shaft. The top foil has two stoppers on its outer circumferential surface that fit into the stopping grooves. A buffer member is positioned between the hollow part and the top foil to provide elastic support.

The first stopper on the top foil protrudes more than the second stopper in an outward radial direction, and the first stopping groove is recessed more than the second stopping groove in an outward radial direction of the hollow part. This configuration allows the first stopper to connect with the second stopper and the first stopping groove to connect with the second stopping groove along the circumferential direction of the bearing.

In one embodiment, the second stopper is formed on each opposite edge of the top foil in the radial direction, while the second stopping groove is formed at each opposite side portion of the inner circumferential surface of the hollow part relative to the shaft's direction. The buffer member is provided between the opposite second stoppers.

Another embodiment features the first stopper and the first stopping groove intersecting and overlapping the second stopper and the second stopping groove along the direction of the shaft. The shape of the stoppers involves folding a portion of the top foil in an outward radial direction.

The patent also mentions the use of a bump foil or multiple elastic pipes as the buffer member, both positioned along the circumferential direction of the bearing.

Overall, this patented air foil journal bearing design aims to enhance stability and performance by providing secure fitting between the top foil and the bearing housing, as well as elastic support through the buffer member. The specific configurations of the stoppers and stopping grooves contribute to the improved functionality of the bearing.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.