The basic tenet of the research reported here has been to develop a fundamental understanding of the mechanism of noise generation in water-lubricated compliant rubber bearings. An experimental model study employed a transparent glass slider rubber against a Buna-N rubber section in order to permit direct measurement of the different aspects of the vibration phenomena, and to be able to observe the type of rubber motion that occurs at the sliding interface. This study has clearly demonstrated that the basic phenomenon is a stick-slip motion of the rubber surface, at times coupled with mechanical resonances of the bearing parts. Shaft torsional resonance does not appear to be involved. The design, geometrical and material conditions that encourage the phenomenon have been established. The direction for improvement is clear, and the paper contains both conclusions and recommendations for corrective means which would lead toward silent operation.

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