In recent years, the desire for increased engine performance has led to technology that increasingly relies on robust and reliable turbocharging solutions. The rotor-bearing system (RBS) operates under extreme oil conditions of low viscosity, high temperatures, low HTHS (high temperature high shear) value and low pressure, while the demand for maximum turbocharger speed and variable geometry technology continues to increase. The rotordynamics instability is a potential issue and the development of RBS is becoming a challenge for design optimization at the development stage. It is further complicated by a lack of industrial standards to guide design practices related to the dynamics and the effort to combine high performance with low cost. This paper concerns the progress on nonlinear dynamic behavior modeling of turbocharger rotor-radial bearing system with fully floating bearing design. A developed fluid dynamics code predicts bearing rotational speed, operating inner and outer bearing clearances, effective oil viscosity taking into account the shear effect and hydrostatic load. The data are input to a rotordynamics code which predicts nonlinear lateral response (total shaft motion) of the rotor-bearing system. The model is validated with a high speed turbocharger RBS of 7.9 mm journal diameter running up to 160,000 rpm (maximum speed) with oil 0W30, 100 °C oil inlet temperature and 4 bar oil feed pressure. The test is conducted on a rotordynamics technology cell. An advanced data acquisition system is implanted and a powerful code is developed for automated data reduction. Prediction/test data show good correlation with the respect of synchronous response and total motion. The predictive model helps the development of high performance RBS with faster development cycle times and increased reliability.

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