Dynamic response and stability of a gas-lubricated Rayleigh-step pad


The quasi-static, pressure characteristics of a gas-lubricated thrust bearing with shrouded, Rayleigh-step pads are determined for a time-varying film thickness. The axial response of the thrust bearing to an axial forcing function or an axial rotor disturbance is investigated by treating the gas film as a spring having nonlinear restoring and damping forces. These forces are related to the film thickness by a power relation. The nonlinear equation of motion in the axial mode is solved by the Ritz-Galerkin method as well as the direct, numerical integration. Results of the nonlinear response by both methods are compared with the response based on the linearized equation. Further, the gas-film instability of an infinitely wide Rayleigh step thrust pad is determined by solving the transient Reynolds equation coupled with the equation of the motion of the pad. Results show that the Rayleigh-step geometry is very stable for bearing number A up to 50. The stability threshold is shown to exist only for ultrahigh values of Lambda equal to or greater than 100, where the stability can be achieved by making the mass heavier than the critical mass

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