Research Papers

Efficient Models of Three-Dimensional Tilting Pad Journal Bearings for the Study of the Interactions Between Rotor and Lubricant Supply Plant

[+] Author and Article Information
Andrea Rindi

Department of Industrial Engineering,
University of Florence,
Florence 50139, Italy
e-mail: andrea.rindi@unifi.it

Stefano Rossin

General Electric Oil & Gas,
Florence 50127, Italy
e-mail: stefano.rossin@ge.com

R. Conti

Department of Industrial Engineering,
University of Florence,
Florence 50139, Italy
e-mail: roberto.conti@unifi.it

A. Frilli

Department of Industrial Engineering,
University of Florence,
Florence 50139, Italy
e-mail: amedeo.frilli@unifi.it

E. Galardi

Department of Industrial Engineering,
University of Florence,
Florence 50139, Italy
e-mail: emanuele.galardi@unifi.it

E. Meli

Department of Industrial Engineering,
University of Florence,
Florence 50139, Italy
e-mail: enrico.meli@unifi.it

D. Nocciolini

Department of Industrial Engineering,
University of Florence,
Florence 50139, Italy
e-mail: daniele.nocciolini@unifi.it

L. Pugi

Department of Industrial Engineering,
University of Florence,
Florence 50139, Italy
e-mail: luca.pugi@unifi.it

Manuscript received October 1, 2014; final manuscript received April 27, 2015; published online July 17, 2015. Assoc. Editor: José L. Escalona.

J. Comput. Nonlinear Dynam 11(1), 011011 (Jan 01, 2016) (13 pages) Paper No: CND-14-1228; doi: 10.1115/1.4030509 History: Received October 01, 2014; Revised April 27, 2015; Online July 17, 2015

In many industrial applications, tilting pad journal bearings (TPJBs) are increasingly used because they are very suitable both for high-speed and high external loads. Their study is fundamental in rotating machines and a compromise between accuracy and numerical efficiency is mandatory to achieve reliable results in a reasonable time. This paper mainly focuses on the development of efficient three-dimensional (3D) models of TPJBs, in order to contemporaneously describe both the rotor dynamics of the system and the lubricant supply plant in long simulations (from the initial transient phase to the steady-state condition). Usually, these two aspects are studied separately, but their interactions must be considered if an accurate description of the whole system is needed. The proposed model architecture considers all the six degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) between supporting structures and rotors and can be applied to different types of TJPB layout with different lubricant supply plants. In this research activity, the whole model has been developed and validated in collaboration with Nuovo Pignone General Electric S.p.a. which provided the required technical and experimental data.

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Fig. 1

TPJB representation

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Fig. 2

General architecture of the whole model

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Fig. 3

Numerical flow chart of the proposed algorithm

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Fig. 4

TPJB structure and control volume

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Fig. 5

Geometrical layout of system

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Fig. 7

Oil film mesh and boundary conditions

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Fig. 8

Numerical flow chart of the solution algorithm

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Fig. 16

Rotor fraction displacement xA and yA and orbit described by the rotor fraction center before and after the stability limit (25,000 rpm)

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Fig. 17

3D representation of the pressure fields p on the surfaces of the four pads Spad

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Fig. 9

Simple scheme of the lubrication testing system in Massa–Carrara

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Fig. 20

Mean lines of the four pads

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Fig. 15

Resistant torque produced by the bearing Mz,A

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Fig. 10

Flow rates results: proposed model compared to experimental data

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Fig. 11

Orbit described by the rotor fraction center during the steady-state phase

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Fig. 12

Rotor fraction displacement xA and yA along the x and y axis

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Fig. 13

Displacement of the pad angular position γpadi

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Fig. 18

3D representation of the speed fields v¯ on the surfaces of the four pads Spad

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Fig. 19

Pressure variations along Stang



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