Static characteristics and rotordynamic coefficients of a four-pad tilting-pad journal bearing with ball-in-socket pivots in load-between-pad configuration



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Static characteristics and rotordynamic coefficients were experimentally determined for a four-pad tilting-pad journal bearing with ball-in-socket pivots in loadbetween- pad configuration. A frequency-independent [M]-[C]-[K] model fit the measurements reasonably well, except for the cross-coupled damping coefficients. Test conditions included speeds from 4,000 to 12,000 rpm and unit loads from 0 to 1896 kPa (0 to 275 psi). The test bearing was manufactured by Rotating Machinery Technology (RMT), Inc. Though it has a nominal diameter of 101.78 mm (4.0070 in.), measurements indicated significant bearing crush with radial bearing clearances of 99.6 ?m (3.92 mils) and 54.6 ?m (2.15 mils) in the axes 45? counterclockwise and 45? clockwise from the loaded axis, respectively. The pad length is 101.6 mm (4.00 in.), giving L/D = 1.00. The pad arc angle is 73?, and the pivot offset ratio is 65%. The preloads of the loaded and unloaded pads are 0.37 and 0.58, respectively. A bulk-flow Navier-Stokes model was used for predictions, using adiabatic conditions for the bearing fluid. Because the model assumes constant nominal clearances at all pads, the average of the measured clearances was used as an estimate. Eccentricities and attitude angles were markedly under predicted while power loss was under predicted at low speeds and very well predicted at high speeds. The maximum detected pad temperature was 71?C (160?F) and the rise from inlet to maximum bearing temperature was over predicted by 10-40%. Multiple-frequency force inputs were used to excite the bearing. Direct stiffness and damping coefficients were significantly over predicted, but addition of a simple stiffness-in-series model substantially improved the agreement between theory and experiment. Direct added masses were zero or negative at low speeds and increased with speed up to a maximum of about 50 kg; they were normally greater in the unloaded direction. Although significant cross-coupled stiffness terms were present, they always had the same sign. The bearing had zero whirl frequency ratio netting unconditional stability over all test conditions. Static stiffness in the y direction (obtained from steadystate loading) matched the rotordynamic stiffness Kyy (obtained from multiple-frequency excitation) reasonably at low loads but poorly at the maximum test load.