Identification of Force Coefficients in a Squeeze Film Damper With a Mechanical Seal: Large Contact Force Academic Article uri icon


  • Squeeze film dampers (SFDs) aid to reduce excessive vibration levels due to rotor imbalance and to raise stability thresholds in rotor-bearing systems. SFDs commonly include end seals to increase their damping capability with a lesser lubricant flow. Seals also aid to reduce the occurrence of air ingestion/entrapment that severely reduces the damper forced performance. However, most conventional end seals do not completely eliminate lubricant side leakage, which limits their effectiveness to prevent air ingestion. A novel end seal arrangement incorporates a spring loaded, contacting mechanical seal that effectively prevents lubricant side leakage and air ingestion. The mechanically sealed damper is intended for use in power engines for unmanned aircraft vehicles. The test damper journal is 2.54 cm in length and 12.7 cm in diameter, with a radial clearance of 0.127 mm. Prior literature reports dynamic load tests on the seal-SFD and measurements of orbital motions to characterize the mechanical parameters of both the mechanical seal and squeeze film damper section. The test data to date include damper operation for a single contact load (90 N) closing the mechanical seal. Presently, measurements of damper dynamic load performance are conducted with a larger contact force (260 N). A nonlinear parameter identification method in the frequency domain determines simultaneously the squeeze film damping and inertia coefficients and the seal dry-friction force. The test results show that the system equivalent viscous damping coefficients are twice as large as those obtained earlier with the smaller contact force. On the other hand, as expected, the squeeze film damper coefficients are nearly identical for both test configurations. Predicted squeeze film damping coefficients, from an improved model that includes the flow in the damper feed and discharge grooves, correlate well with the test data for small and moderate orbit radii. The experimental fluid added mass coefficients are in par with the actual mass of the bearing housing and accurately predicted. © 2010 by ASME.

author list (cited authors)

  • Delgado, A., & San Andrés, L.

citation count

  • 13

publication date

  • June 2010