On the Force Coefficients of a Flooded, Open Ends Short Length Squeeze Film Damper: From Theory to Practice (and Back) Academic Article uri icon


  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME. Gas turbine aircraft engine manufacturers push for simple squeeze film damper (SFD) designs, short in length, yet able to provide enough damping to ameliorate rotor vibrations. SFDs employ orifices to feed lubricant directly into the film land or into a deep groove. The holes, acting as pressure sources (or sinks), both disrupt the film land continuity and reduce the generation of squeeze film dynamic pressure. Overly simple predictive formulations disregard the feedholes and deliver damping (C) and inertia (M) force coefficients not in agreement with experimental findings. Presently, to bridge the gap between simple theory and practice, the paper presents measurements of the dynamic forced response of an idealized SFD that disposes of the feedholes altogether. The short-length SFD, whose diameter D = 127 mm, has one end submerged (flooded) within a lubricant bath and the other end exposed to ambient. ISO VG 2 lubricant flows by gravity through the film land of length L = 25.4 mm and clearance c = 0.122 mm. From dynamic load tests over excitation frequency range 10-250 Hz, experimental damping coefficients (CXX, CYY) from the flooded damper agree well with predictions from the classical open ends model with a full film for small amplitude whirl motions (r/c 1), centered and off-centered. Air ingestion inevitably occurs for large amplitude motions (r/c > 0.4), thus exacerbating the difference between predictions and tests results. For reference, identical tests were conducted with a practical SFD supplied with lubricant (Pin = 0.4 bar) via three orifice feedholes, 120 deg apart at the film land midplane. A comparison of test results shows as expected that, for small amplitude (r/c 1/4 0.05) orbits, the flooded damper generates on average 30% more damping than the practical configuration as the latter's feedholes distort the generation of pressure. For large amplitude motions (r/c > 0.4), however, the flooded damper provides slightly lesser damping and inertia coefficients than the SFD with feedholes whose pressurized lubricant delivery alleviates air ingestion in the film land. The often invoked open ends SFD classical model is not accurate for the practical engineered design of an apparently simple mechanical element.

author list (cited authors)

  • San Andrés, L., Den, S., & Jeung, S.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • September 2017