The purpose of this study is to investigate the nonlinear axial response of a thrust bearing-rotor system, which is subjected to an axial harmonic force. For the axial vibration of the rotor, the system forces include the external axial harmonic force and the reacting oil film forces, which are obtained by solving a time-dependent Reynolds Equation within the thrust pads of the thrust bearing. The time-dependent Reynolds Equation is solved by a finite difference method, and the system equation of motion is solved by the fourth-order Runge-Kutta method. A linear analysis is attempted in to evaluate its suitability for the situation under consideration. And the bearing stiffness and damping coefficients are investigated with parameters including the dimensionless wedge thickness, the initial oil film thickness and the rotor spin speed. The results show that the average steady state response will decrease as the harmonic axial force intensifies its fluctuating magnitude. The results also indicate that it will induce ultra-super harmonics when the axial harmonic force intensifies its fluctuating magnitude.

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