Patent Number: 6,254,359

Title: Method for providing a jewel bearing for supporting a pump rotor shaft

Abstract: Methods for a blood pump bearing system within a pump housing to support long-term high-speed rotation of a rotor with an impeller blade having a plurality of individual magnets disposed thereon to provide a small radial air gap between the magnets and a stator of less than 0.025 inches. The bearing system may be mounted within a flow straightener, diffuser, or other pump element to support the shaft of a pump rotor. The bearing system includes a zirconia shaft having a radiused end. The radiused end has a first radius selected to be about three times greater than the radius of the zirconia shaft. The radiused end of the zirconia shaft engages a flat sapphire endstone. Due to the relative hardness of these materials a flat is quickly produced during break-in on the zirconia radiused end of precisely the size necessary to support thrust loads whereupon wear substantially ceases. Due to the selection of the first radius, the change in shaft end-play during pump break-in is limited to a total desired end-play of less than about 0.010 inches. Radial loads are supported by an olive hole ring jewel that makes near line contact around the circumference of the shaft to support high speed rotation with little friction. The width of olive hole ring jewel is small to allow heat to conduct through to thereby prevent heat build-up in the bearing. A void defined by the bearing elements may fill with blood that then coagulates within the void. The coagulated blood is then conformed to the shape of the bearing surfaces.

Inventors: Aber; Gregory S. (Houston, TX)

Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

International Classification: F04D 13/06 (20060101); F04D 3/02 (20060101); F04D 29/04 (20060101); F04D 3/00 (20060101); F04B 035/04 ()

Expiration Date: 07/03/2018