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research-article

IMPACT OF BEARING CLEARANCE ON MEASURED STIFFNESS AND DAMPING COEFFICIENTS AND THERMAL PERFORMANCE OF A HIGH-STIFFNESS GENERATION 3 FOIL JOURNAL BEARING

[+] Author and Article Information
Jason C. Wilkes

Senior Research Engineer
jason.wilkes@swri.org

Jonathan Wade

Senior Research Engineer
jonathan.wade@swri.org

Aaron Rimpel

Senior Research Engineer
aaron.rimpel@swri.org

J. Jeffrey Moore

Institute Engineer, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), San Antonio, TX, 78238, USA
jeff.moore@swri.org

Erik E. Swanson

President, Xdot Engineering and Analysis, PLLC, Charlottesville, VA 22903
erik@xdotea.com

Joseph Grieco

Technology Team Leader, Halliburton, Carrollton, TX 75006
joe.grieco@halliburton.com

Jerry Brady

Technology Manager, BP Exploration Alaska, Inc., Anchorage, AK 99508
jerry.brady@bp.com

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038603 History: Received March 21, 2017; Revised July 03, 2017

Abstract

High speed foil bearings are currently used in increasingly demanding, high performance applications. The application under consideration is a 120 krpm natural gas turboexpander-compressor, which requires 38 mm (1.5 in.) foil journal bearings with high stiffness and load capacity to help enhance rotordynamic stability. This paper describes the development of the foil bearing for this application and includes measured stiffness and damping coefficients recorded on a high-speed dynamic bearing test rig. The dynamic test data were taken for several different foil bearing configurations with varying spring-element foil thicknesses, number of spring-element foils, and bearing shim thickness. All three parameters have a direct impact on bearing clearance. The influence of these different parameters on measured stiffness and damping coefficients and thermal performance of the bearings are presented and discussed.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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