Turbulent flow foil bearings for cryogenic applications1
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Fluid film foil bearings are an innovative bearing technology proposed for rotor support in cryogenic turbomachinery. These bearings offer system life and rotor speeds currently unachievable with rolling element bearings alone. An isothermal analysis for the turbulent bulk-flow of a variable properties liquid in a foil bearing with a simple elastic matrix is introduced. Numerical predictions compare the static and dynamic force performance of a three pad foil bearing with a rigid surface bearing for a high speed application in liquid oxygen. The major advantages of the foil bearing are immediately apparent, namely linearity in the load versus eccentricity curve, uniform rotordynamic coefficients, and overall unsurpassed stability conditions. The effects of excitation frequency and the foil structural damping on the dynamic force coefficient are discussed.
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