Various embodiments of the invention relate to bearing assemblies, apparatuses and motor assemblies that include geometric features configured to impart a selected amount of heat transfer and/or hydrodynamic film formation. In an embodiment, a bearing assembly may include a plurality of superhard bearing pads distributed circumferentially about an axis. At least some of the plurality of superhard bearing pads may include a plurality of sub-superhard bearing elements defining a bearing surface. At least some of the plurality of sub-superhard bearing elements may be spaced from one another by one or more voids to impart a selected amount of heat transfer and hydrodynamic film formation thereon during operation. The bearing assembly may also include a support ring that carries the plurality of superhard bearing pads. In addition, at least a portion of the sub-superhard bearing elements may extend beyond the support ring.
STATEMENT REGARDING GOVERNMENT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under a government contract no. DE-EE0003633 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to US Synthetic Corporation. The Government has certain rights in this invention.