Abstract

The vibration induced by the varying compliance (VC) or the stiffness fluctuation of ball bearing plays a key role in the dynamic performance of the rotor system. The aim of this article is to study the stiffness fluctuation behaviors of ball bearing under different operating conditions. This article presents an improved mathematic model for ball bearing with wider applicability based on the new initial/reference position assumption and the ball-raceway contact/separation determination. The proposed model not only gets rid of the limitations of the raceway control hypothesis but also considers the space constraints of the cage on the balls. The advantages of the proposed model are presented through the typical working condition analysis, and the influences of the internal clearance on the stiffness and stiffness fluctuation of ball bearing under different operating conditions are given and discussed. The results show that bearing stiffness and stiffness fluctuation are determined by the external loads, rotating speeds, and internal clearances together, and properly increasing the axial load can effectively reduce the amplitudes and frequency components of the stiffness fluctuation. As an exploratory research work on the excitation source for the VC vibration of the bearing-rotor system, this article not only explains the complexity and diversity of the rotor VC vibration behavior from another side but also provides new ideas and important supplements for the rotor nonlinear analysis.

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