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Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Structures and Dynamics

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

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI),
San Antonio, TX 78238
e-mail: jason.wilkes@swri.org

Jonathan Wade

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI),
San Antonio, TX 78238
e-mail: jonathan.wade@swri.org

Aaron Rimpel

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI),
San Antonio, TX 78238
e-mail: aaron.rimpel@swri.org

Jeff Moore

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI),
San Antonio, TX 78238
e-mail: jeff.moore@swri.org

Erik Swanson

Xdot Engineering and Analysis, PLLC,
Charlottesville, VA 22903;
BP Exploration Alaska, Inc.,
Anchorage, AK 99508
e-mail: erik@xdotea.com

Joseph Grieco

Halliburton,
Carrollton, TX 75006
e-mail: joe.grieco@halliburton.com

Jerry Brady

BP Exploration Alaska, Inc.,
Anchorage, AK 99508
e-mail: Jerry.brady@bp.com

Contributed by the Structures and Dynamics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received March 21, 2017; final manuscript received July 3, 2017; published online April 10, 2018. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 140(7), 072503 (Apr 10, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: GTP-17-1107; doi: 10.1115/1.4038603 History: Received March 21, 2017; Revised July 03, 2017

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.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

WF compliant support [9]

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Fig. 2

Rigid pad clearance-stiffness study, 0.5 preload/0.7 offset

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Fig. 4

Typical double-layer WF bearing load-deflection curve

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Fig. 5

Views of gas bearing test rig

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Fig. 6

Gas bearing test rig dynamic model

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Fig. 7

(a) Normalized stiffness and (b) normalized effective damping versus frequency at different speeds for a representative bearing test

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Fig. 8

Measured normalized stiffness versus speed for single- and double-layer WF

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Fig. 9

Measured normalized effective damping versus speed for single- and double-layer WF

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Fig. 10

Measured normalized stiffness versus speed for identical double-layer WF configurations with decreased clearance [additional 127 μm (0.5 mil) shim]

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Fig. 11

Measured normalized effective damping versus speed for identical double-layer WF configurations with decreased clearance [additional 12.7 μm (0.5 mil) shim]

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Fig. 12

Measured normalized stiffness versus speed for different double-layer WF configurations with comparable clearance

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Fig. 13

Measured normalized effective damping versus speed for different double-layer WF configurations with comparable clearance

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Fig. 14

Measured WF temperature versus normalized stiffness at 65 krpm for different double-layer WF configurations with comparable clearance

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Fig. 15

Measured normalized stiffness versus speed for identical double-layer WF configurations

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Fig. 16

Measured normalized effective damping versus speed for identical double-layer WF configurations

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Fig. 17

Measured normalized (a) stiffness, (b) effective damping, and (c) cross-coupled stiffness versus frequency at different speeds for the selected 127 μm double-layer WF configuration

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