Experimental Dynamic Forced Performance of a Centrally Grooved, End Sealed Squeeze Film Damper
Mahecha Mojica, Lady Paola
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Squeeze film dampers (SFDs) provide viscous damping to attenuate excessive vibrations and enhance system stability in turbomachinery. SFDs are of special importance in aircraft engines which use rolling element support bearings that, by themselves, do not provide enough damping to ensure safe operation. A modular test rig capable of simulating actual operating conditions in aircraft jet engines is used to test two centrally grooved, end sealed, SFDs. Both SFDs have diameter D and nominal radial clearance c and consist of two parallel squeeze film lands separated by a deep circumferential groove of length LG and depth dG. A short length damper with film land lengths L and a long damper with land lengths 2L are tested. Piston rings seal the damper lands. An ISO VG2 lubricant is supplied to the SFD via three radial holes that discharge lubricant into the central groove. The lubricant passes through the damper lands and across the piston ring seals to finally exit the damper at ambient pressure. Circular orbit tests of amplitude ~0.5c and for static eccentricities varying from 0 to ~0.36c are conducted on the two sealed dampers. The instrumental variable filter method (IVFM) serves to identify the SFD dynamic force coefficients. The parameter identification range is 50Hz to 210Hz for the short damper and 110Hz to 250Hz for the long damper. Large amplitude dynamic pressures measured in the central groove demonstrate that the central groove does not divide the damper in two separate film lands, but the lubricant in the groove interacts with the squeeze film lands, hence contributing significantly to the SFD forced response. Dynamic pressures in the film lands and in the central groove reveal that both dampers operate free of air ingestion or cavitation for the tested static eccentricities and amplitudes of motion. Comparisons to test results for the same SFD configurations but with open ends demonstrate the effectiveness of the end seals on increasing the direct damping coefficients. For the sealed ends short length damper, the added mass coefficients are ~2 times larger and the damping coefficients are ~3.8 times larger than the respective coefficients of the open ends long damper. For the sealed ends long damper, the damping coefficients are ~2.8 times, and the added mass coefficients are ~3.1 times larger than coefficients from the open ends configuration. The identified SFD direct stiffness coefficients are nearly zero except at the maximum static eccentricity for the long damper. Predictions from a novel computational model that include the effects of the central groove, the lubricant feed holes and the end seals are in excellent agreement with results from the short length damper. For the long damper, the predicted damping coefficients are in good agreement with the test results, while the added mass coefficients are under predicted by ~25 percent. Experimental results from the two sealed SFD configurations lead to a better understanding of the effects of end seals as well as central feed groves on the SFD forced performance. The results presented in this thesis will help improve the effectiveness of SFDs aircraft jet engines.