Morton Effect Induced Instability in Mid-Span Rotorâ Hydrodynamic Bearing Systems


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Virginia Tech


The Morton Effect in the rotor - bearing systems may lead to an unstable operation. Up to the present, most of the established research efforts have been focused on the overhung rotor systems. In this dissertation, a systematic study on the Morton Effect induced instability in mid-span rotor systems is presented.

First, the mechanism study is conducted. The simplified rotor models with isotropic linear bearing supports are adopted for the derivation of analytical expressions. The threshold speeds of instability in simple forms are obtained for the systems with the thermal imbalance acting concurrent with or perpendicular to the direction of the response displacement. For a perspective view of the system stability, a stability map for the damped rigid mid-span rotors with the thermal imbalance having arbitrary phase difference has been generated. It shows that the stable operating regions of the system are bounded by two curves of threshold of instability. The results show that the Morton Effect induced instability thresholds are actually affected by both the magnitude and relative phase of the thermal imbalance. The mechanism of the Morton Effect induced thermal instability of mid-span rotors supported by linear isotropic bearings can be explained through the fact that the Morton Effect introduces either negative stiffness or negative cross-coupled stiffness.

Next, the steady-state response performance under the influence of the Morton Effect is discussed. The results show that the Morton Effect has a comprehensive impact on both the amplitude and phase lag of the steady-state unbalance response. It may shift both curves in a manner dependent on the relative magnitude and direction of the thermal imbalance.

Then, the mid-span rotors supported by the hydrodynamic journal bearings are analyzed.

The models to calculate the thermal bending of the shaft and the temperature distribution across the journal surface are established. The calculations of the temperature difference and its equivalent thermal imbalance are conducted and discussed with the comparison to the analytical results. It shows that the thermal imbalance may increase to the level of the mechanical imbalance and its influence on the system stability should be then included. The suggested thermal bending model also explains that the mid-span rotors are less liable to be influenced by the Morton Effect than are the overhung configurations, because of the restraining effect between the two supports. The simulation results of a symmetric mid-span rotor - hydrodynamic journal bearing system show that the inclusion of the Morton Effect may lead to an unstable operation of the system. Considering the existence of the oil film self-induced vibration due to the dynamic characteristics of fluid film bearings, the Morton Effect may make a further negative impact on the instabilities of the rotor system under some working conditions.

Finally, the predictive solution method for the general mid-span rotors is discussed. The computer code, VT-MAP, is developed for the predictions of the Morton Effect induced instability of rotor systems in either mid-span and overhung configurations.



Morton Effect, mid-span, instability, bearing, rotor