Evaluation of the VPI & SU fluid film bearing test rig

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Virginia Tech

The design of advanced, state-of-the-art turbomachinery requires accurate analytical tools for predicting rotor response and evaluating stability. One of the required tools is a reliable analytical code for predicting the performance of fluid-film bearings. This work presents an initial evaluation of a test rig for verifying such codes. This presentation includes background information on the techniques and terminology of fluid-film bearing analysis and two basic approaches to experimental evaluation of fluid-film bearings. To establish one such code, NPADVT, as a useful tool for evaluating the performance of the test rig, comparisons between six published, experimental evaluations of fluid-film bearings for static characteristics and the corresponding NPADVT analysis are presented. With the code thus anchored, and its limits established, experimental data generated with the test rig are compared to appropriate analyses and the test rig shown to be essentially functional. Finally, experimental static results for a pocket bearing generated with the test rig are presented and compared with analysis.