A passive magnetic bearing is composed of a levitation element and a restorative element. The levitation element is composed of a pair of stationary arcuate ferromagnetic segments located within an annular radial-field magnet array. The magnet array is attached to the inner circumference of a hollow shaft end. An attractive force between the arcuate segments and the magnet array acts vertically to levitate the shaft, and also in a horizontal transverse direction to center the shaft. The restorative element is comprised of an annular Halbach array of magnets and a stationary annular circuit array located within the Halbach array. The Halbach array is attached to the inner circumference of the hollow shaft end. A repulsive force between the Halbach array and the circuit array increases inversely to the radial space between them, and thus acts to restore the shaft to its equilibrium axis of rotation when it is displaced therefrom.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.