Comparison of Rotordynamic Analysis Predictions With the Test Response of Simple Gas Hybrid Bearings for Oil Free Turbomachinery Academic Article uri icon


  • Current applications of gas film bearings in high-speed oil-free microturbomachinery (<0.4 MW) require calibrated predictive tools to successfully deploy their application to mass-produced systems, for example, oil-free turbochargers. The present investigation details the linear rotordynamic analysis of a test rotor supported on externally pressurized gas bearings. Model predictions are compared with the test rotordynamic response determined through comprehensive experiments conducted on a small rotor supported on three lobed hybrid (hydrostatic/ hydrodynamic) rigid gas bearings. Predictions for the rotor-bearing system synchronous response to imbalance show good agreement with measurements during rotor coastdowns, and manifest a decrease in damping ratio as the level of external pressurization increases. The rotor-bearing eigenvalue analysis forwards natural frequencies in accordance with the measurements, and null damping ratios evidence the threshold speeds of rotordynamic instability. Estimated whirl frequency ratios are typically 50% of rotor speed, thus predicting subsynchronous instabilities at lower rotor speeds than found experimentally when increasing the magnitude of feed pressurization. Rationale asserting the nature of the discrepancies calls for further analysis. Copyright © 2006 by ASME.

author list (cited authors)

  • Osborne, D. A., & San Andre´s, L.

citation count

  • 5

publication date

  • June 2006