Dynamic Characterization of a Novel Externally Pressurized Compliantly Damped Gas-Lubricated Bearing with Hermetically Sealed Squeeze Film Damper Modules

[+] Author and Article Information
Adolfo Delgado

Mechanical Engineering Department, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843

Bugra Ertas

Mechanical Systems, GE Global Research Center, Niskayuna, NY 12308

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041311 History: Received July 02, 2018; Revised August 13, 2018


Ever-increasing demand for cleaner energy is driving the need for higher power density turbomachinery while reducing cost and simplifying design. Gas lubricated bearings, representing one of the enabling technologies that can help maximize these benefits and have been successfully implemented into turbomachinery applications with rotors weights in the order few kg's. However, load capacity and damping limitations of existing gas bearing technologies prevents the development of larger size oil-free drive trains in the MW power output range. Compliantly damped hybrid gas bearings (CHGB) were introduced as an alternative design to overcome these limitations. The CHGB concept addresses damping entitlement through the application of bearing support dampers such a metal mesh. An alternative CHGB design, featuring a novel hermetically seal squeeze film damper (HSFD) in the bearing support, was introduced as alternative approach to metal mesh dampers (MMD) to further improve bearing damping. This paper details the rotordynamic characterization of a CHGB with modular HSFD. Direct and cross-coupled stiffness and damping coefficients are presented for different rotor speeds up to 12,500 rpm, frequencies of excitation between 20-200 Hz, bearing loads between 200-400 lbf, and external hydrostatic pressures reaching 180psi. Direct comparisons to experimental results for a CHGB using (MMD) shows 3X increase in direct damping levels when using HSFD in the compliant bearing support. In addition to the experimental results, an analytical model is presented based on the implementation of the isothermal compressible Reynolds equation coupled to a flexible support.

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