The study of eccentric squeeze film damped rotor dynamic systems has largely concentrated on rigid rotors. In this paper, a newly developed receptance harmonic balance method is used to efficiently analyze a squeeze film damped flexible rotor test rig. The aim of the study is to investigate the influence of damper static eccentricity and unbalance level on cavitation and its resulting effect on the vibration level. By comparing predictions for the rotor vibration levels obtained respectively with, and without, lower pressure limits for the eccentric squeeze film damper model, it is demonstrated that cavitation is promoted by increasing static eccentricity and/or unbalance level. This, in turn, is found to have a profound effect on the predictions for the critical vibration levels, which such dampers are designed to attenuate. The reported findings are backed by experimental evidence from the test rig.

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