A Novel Computational Model for Tilting Pad Journal Bearings with Soft Pivot Stiffnesses
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A novel tilting pad journal bearing model including pivot flexibility as well as temporal fluid inertia effects on the thin film fluid flow aims to accurately predict the bearing forced performance. The predictive model also accounts for the thermal energy transport effects in a TPJB. A Fortran program with an Excel GUI models TPJBs and delivers predictions of the bearing static and dynamic forced performance. The calculation algorithm uses a Newton-Raphson procedure for successful iterations on the equilibrium pad radial and transverse displacements and journal center displacements, even for bearings pads with very soft pivots. The predictive model accounts for the effect of film temperature on the operating bearing and pad clearances by calculating the thermal expansion of the journal and pad surfaces. The pad inlet thermal mixing coefficient (lambda) influences moderately the predicted fluid film temperature field. Pad pivot flexibility decreases significantly and dominates the bearing stiffness and damping coefficients when the pivot stiffness is lower than 10% of the fluid film stiffness coefficients (with rigid pivots). Pivot flexibility has a more pronounced effect on reducing the bearing damping coefficients than the stiffness coefficients. Pad pivot flexibility may still affect the bearing behavior at a light load condition for a bearing with a large pad preload. Pad pivot flexibility, as well as the fluid inertia and the pads’ mass and mass moment of inertia, could influence the bearing impedance coefficients, in particular at high whirl frequencies. The stiffness and damping coefficients of a TPJB increase with a reduction in the operating bearing and pad clearances. The work delivers a predictive tool benchmarked against a number of experimental results for test bearings available in the recent literature. The static and dynamic forced performance characteristics of actual TPJBs can not be accurately predicted unless their pad flexibility and pivot flexibility, fluid film temperature, pad inlet thermal mixing coefficient, operating bearing and pad clearances, among others are well known in advance. However, the extensive archival literature showcasing test procedures and experimental results for TPJBs does not report the above parameters. Thus, reasonable assumptions on the magnitude of certain elusive parameters for use in the predictive TPJB model are necessary.
Tao, Yujiao 1988- (2012). A Novel Computational Model for Tilting Pad Journal Bearings with Soft Pivot Stiffnesses. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from