Imbalance response of a test rotor supported on squeeze film dampers Academic Article uri icon


  • Squeeze film dampers (SFDs) provide vibration attenuation and structural isolation to aircraft gas turbine engines which must be able to tolerate larger imbalances while operating above one or more critical speeds. Rotor-bearing-SFD systems are regarded in theory as highly nonlinear, showing jump phenomena and even chaotic behavior for sufficiently large levels of rotor imbalance. Yet, few experimental results of practical value have verified the analytical predictions. A test rig for measurement of the dynamic forced response of a three-disk rotor (45 kg) supported on two cylindrical SFDs is described. The major objective is to provide a reliable data base to validate and enhance SFD design practice and to allow a direct comparison with analytical models. The open-ends SFD are supported by four-bar centering structures, each with a stiffness of 3.5 MN/m. Measured synchronous responses to 9000 rpm due to various imbalances show the rotor-SFD system to be well damped with amplification factors between 1.6 and 2.1 while traversing cylindrical and conical modes critical speeds. The rotor amplitudes of motion are found to be proportional to the imbalances for the first mode of vibration, and the damping coefficients extracted compare reasonably well to predictions based on the full-film, open-ends SFD. Tight lip (elastomeric) seals contribute greatly to the overall damping of the test rig. Measured dynamic pressures at the squeeze film lands are well above ambient values with no indication of lubricant dynamic cavitation as simple theoretical models dictate. The measurements show absence of nonlinear behavior of the rotor-SFD apparatus for the range of imbalances tested. © 1998 by ASME.

author list (cited authors)

  • San Andrés, L., & Lubell, D.

citation count

  • 19

publication date

  • January 1998