Donald Mccarthy
Donald Mccarthy

Donald Mccarthy

My research

My research at the Division has primarily concentrated on the study of bearings and environmentally adapted lubricants (EALs) for hydropower applications.

Among other things, I have investigated the impact  of PTFE and patterned babbitt facing materials on the performance of tilting-pad thrust-bearings. These have shown positive benefits in terms of improved efficiency and reduced thermal deformation.

EALs have, amongst other properties, improved biodegradability in comparison with traditional mineral oils. Tests have been performed to assess their suitability for replacing mineral oils in hydropower applications. These have given positive results with performance benefits in addition to environmental advantages.

Little test data is currently available as regards the performance of EALs in machinery. In order for those in industry to make informed decisions about changing an oil or defining a lubricant for a new application, it is vital to know how the lubricant will perform. The aim of my work is to obtain and collate suitable test data for wider dissemination.

I am currently investigating the performance of hydrodynamic journal bearings using a number of different lubricants (mineral, synthetic and vegetable based) with the aim of accumulating data for lubricant comparison and assessment of suitability for different applications.

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