On the Translatory Whirl Motion of a Vertical Rotor in Plain Cylindrical Gas-Dynamic Journal Bearings

[+] Author and Article Information
C. H. T. Pan

General Engineering Laboratory, General Electric Company, Schenectady, N. Y.

B. Sternlicht

Hydrodynamics, General Engineering Laboratory, General Electric Company, Schenectady, N. Y.

J. Basic Eng 84(1), 152-158 (Mar 01, 1962) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3657237 History: Received July 07, 1961; Online November 04, 2011


For the theoretical prediction of the dynamical characteristics of a rotor system, it is necessary to have an accurate knowledge of the bearing fluid film forces under dynamical conditions. With a small clearance ratio and at a moderate speed, the motion of the lubricant is governed by the generalized Reynolds equation. If the lubricant is a gaseous medium, the Reynolds equation is complicated by the compressibility effects, which include nonlinearity and time-dependence under dynamic conditions [1]. In the case of a vertical rotor operating in plain cylindrical journal bearings, the steady whirl approximation is appropriate and time-dependence in the Reynolds equation can be removed by a co-ordinate transformation. The form of the transformed equation is identical to the static Reynolds equation except that the compressibility number is modified by a factor which depends on the angular speed of the whirl motion [2, 3]. The altitude angle, in the presence of the whirling motion, is quite different from the static attitude angle. On the other hand, the magnitudes of the forces are not very different. The steady whirl analysis may be used to determine the synchronous whirl motion of an unbalanced rotor. The phase angle between the fluid film force and the maximum film thickness plane is the complement of the attitude angle according to the quasi-static analysis. Experimental data are in excellent agreement with the results of the steady whirl analysis. Also, the modified compressibility number is reduced to zero at half-frequency whirl, and the Reynolds equation, for an isothermal gaseous film with the small eccentricity ratio approximation, becomes identical to that of the liquid film. Since it has been established that the threshold of half-frequency whirl for vertical rotors operating in plain cylindrical journal bearings is at zero speed in [4], the same conclusion applies to the corresponding gas-dynamic bearing.

Copyright © 1962 by ASME
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