On the Importance of Frictional Energy Dissipation in the Prevention of Undesirable Self-Excited Vibrations in Gas Foil Bearing Rotor Systems

  • T. Leister
  • C. Baum
  • W. Seemann


In this contribution, a nonlinear and fully coupled fluid–structure–rotor interaction model of a gas foil bearing rotor system is presented. Aiming at the reduction of undesirable self-excited vibrations, many common bearing designs feature a compliant and slightly movable multi-part foil structure inside the lubrication gap. The present paper discusses the general impact of frictional energy dissipation within the foil structure by adding equivalent viscous damping to the widespread simple elastic foundation model. For the computational analysis, the PDEs describing the fluid pressure distribution and the foil structure deformation field are spatially discretized using finite difference schemes. After suitable nondimensionalization of the resulting system of nonlinear ODEs, a corresponding state-space representation is deduced. Using numerical simulation tools, the stability of equilibrium points and the occurrence of self-excited vibrations are addressed and possible bifurcation scenarios are discussed. Summing up all results, frictional energy dissipation proves to be of crucial importance with regard to the reduction or prevention of undesirable self-excited vibrations in gas foil bearing rotor systems.