Miniature Claude and Reverse Brayton Cycle Turbomachinery Refrigerators
Miniature cryogenic refrigerators employing gas bearing turbomachinery have the potential for high reliability and long, maintenance-free life. Lubricating the bearings with the cycle working fluid excludes lubricants as a source of contamination and fouling in the low temperature regions of the cycle. The absence of continuously rubbing parts eliminates the wearing mode of failure typical of non-lubricated or dry-lubricated machinery. Hence, with gas bearing turbomachinery, there is the expectation for long life, probably limited by the number of start-stop cycles rather than hours of operation.
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