Heavily Loaded Gas Foil Bearings: A Model Anchored to Test Data Conference Paper uri icon


  • Widespread usage of gas foil bearings (FBs) into micro turbomachinery to midsize gas turbine engines requires accurate performance predictions anchored to reliable test data. The paper presents a simple yet accurate model predicting the static and dynamic force characteristics of gas FBs. The analysis couples the Reynolds equation for a thin gas film to a simple elastic foundation model for the top foil and bump strip layer. An exact flow advection model is adopted to solve the partial differential equations for the zeroth- and first- order pressure fields that render the FB load capacity and frequency dependent force coefficients. As the static load imposed on the foil bearing increases, predictions show the journal center displaces to eccentricities exceeding the bearing nominal clearance. A nearly constant FB static stiffness, independent of journal speed, is estimated for operation with large loads; and approaching closely the structural stiffness derived from contact operation at null rotor speed. Predicted minimum film thickness and journal attitude angle demonstrate good agreement with archival test data for a first-generation gas FB. The bump-foil strip structural loss factor, exemplifying a dry-friction dissipation mechanism, aids to largely enhance the bearing direct damping force coefficients. At high loads, the bump-foil structure influences most the stiffness and damping coefficients. The FB whirl frequency ratio (WFR) is examined to ensure its dynamically stable operation. The predictions demonstrate that FBs have greatly different static and dynamic force characteristics when operating at journal eccentricities in excess of the bearing clearance from those obtained for operation at low loads, i.e. small journal eccentricities.

name of conference

  • ASME Turbo Expo 2005: Power for Land, Sea, and Air

published proceedings

  • Volume 4: Turbo Expo 2005

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, T. H., & San Andres, L.

citation count

  • 23

complete list of authors

  • Kim, Tae Ho||San AndreĀ“s, Luis

publication date

  • January 2005