It has long been known that thrust bearings in operation suffer some degree of misalignment effect. A thrust pad with a defined undercut (diaphragm) towards the leading edge area is known to enhance the load capacity. This paper offers an analysis and computer solution of a misaligned thrust bearing which is made up of diaphragm pads and subjected to various degrees of misalignment. Numerical analysis is performed to compare the performance of this type of thrust bearing in both aligned and misaligned conditions. The resulting load capacity of the misaligned bearing is greater than that of the aligned bearing. The effect of misalignment on other bearing performance characteristics, such as friction and side flow are not as significant as the effect on the load capacity. In the misaligned condition, the diaphragm thrust bearing reduces the fluctuation of the bearing load, friction and flow. The cavitation effect is also reduced. © 1993.