Specific Features of Aerodynamic Journal Bearings with Elastically Supported Pads
Aerodynamic bearings with elastically supported tilting pads have operational properties comparable with widely-used foil journal bearings. They combine the excellent stability of tilting pad bearings, as a result of very small cross-coupling stiffness terms, with the positive properties of foil bearings, namely their ability to adapt to changing operating conditions and presence of additional damping due to friction between elastic members and bearing casings. Air cycle machines (ACMs) are
... ines (ACMs) are used in the environmental control systems of aircrafts to manage the pressurization of the cabin. An ACM with the abovementioned type of bearings and an operational speed of 60,000 rpm was designed and successfully tested, even under conditions of strong external excitation. Some problems with rotor stability in certain operation regimes were encountered. Rotor relative vibrations measured at both bearing locations increased substantially when excitation frequency was close to the lowest rotor eigenvalues. In spite of that and the 1000 start/stop cycles passed by the end of the test, any traces of wear on the bearing sliding surfaces were negligible. When the bearing distance had to be shortened in order to insert the machine into the defined space, the rotor quickly became unstable at relatively low speeds. Although rotor stability reserve was reduced only slightly, the rotor had to be redesigned in order to achieve stability. Operation characteristics of aerodynamic bearings with elastically supported tilting pads are presented together with rotor dynamic analysis and validated with measured results.