Profiled Leading Edge Groove Tilting Pad Journal Bearing For Light Load Operation.
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Optimization of a leading edge groove tilting pad journal bearing for application in a small, high speed, multistage steam turbine is described. Rotordynamics constraints to meet a design objective maximum operating speed of 1 8000 rpm resulted in a rotor with a 51.0 in bearing span and 5.0 in diameter tilting pad journal bearings. This configuration yielded a design with projected bearing loads of less than 25 psi, and journal surface speeds that could approach 400 ft/sec. Under these conditions, the applicable limits of conventional style tilting pad journal bearings are stretched, since operation is well into the turbulent flow regime. This can result in significantly higher than predicted operating pad temperatures and increased frictional losses. Furthermore, at very light pad loads, bearing dynamic performance and influence on rotor behavior often does not correlate well with theory. For this application, high efficiency leading edge groove bearings (journal and thrust) were used, due to their preferred steady state operating characteristics at high speed. However, as is often observed with lightly loaded conventional style journal bearings, dynamic performance did not precisely match that predicted by theory. This was investigated by profiling the exit side of the leading edge groove with both a tapered and pocket geometry. Two case histories are presented demonstrating their effect on rotor-bearing stability and unbalance response. The modified bearings yielded greater system stability at high speeds, reduced overall vibration amplitudes, and greatly improved effective damping on passing through the rotor's first peak response speed.
Edney, Stephen L.; Waite, John K.; Decamillo, Scan M. (1996). Profiled Leading Edge Groove Tilting Pad Journal Bearing For Light Load Operation.. Texas A&M University. Turbomachinery Laboratories. Available electronically from