Evaluation of Alternate Bearing Designs in a High Speed Automotive Turbocharger

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


Automotive turbochargers experience self-excited instabilities through the majority of their operating speed range. The results of these instabilities can cause damage to the bearings, shafts, and housing walls. Preventing this damage while maintaining or increasing performance characteristics is a huge concern to industry due to the time and money needed to replace vital components.

The aim of this research is to determine which characteristics of the bearings have the greatest influence on the damped natural frequencies. It was believed that axial groove bearings could offer an acceptable alternative to the floating ring bearings currently found in automotive turbochargers. DyRoBeS rotor dynamics software was used to determine analytically damped natural frequencies for floating ring bearings, and also for six, eight, and ten axial groove fixed geometry bearings, under different speed and loading conditions. The resulting data were compared to experimental test results from an on-engine turbocharger test stand and presented in this report.



Turbocharger, Stability, Bearing, Design