Advances on the modeling of nonlinear rotor-bearing models for prediction of the dynamic shaft response of automotive turbochargers (TCs) supported on floating ring bearings (FRBs) are presented. Comprehensive test data for a TC unit operating to a top speed of 65 krpm serves to validate the model predictions. The static forced performance of the support FRBs considers lubricant thermal effects, thermal expansion of the shaft and bearings, and entrance pressure losses due to centrifugal flow effects. The bearing analysis also yields linearized rotordynamic force coefficients for the inner and outer lubricant films. These coefficients are used with the rotor model to predict the synchronous response to imbalance and the system natural frequencies and stability. A method renders an accurate estimation of the test rotor imbalance by using the actual vibration measurements and influence coefficients derived from predictions using linearized bearing force coefficients. Predicted ring rotational speeds, operating radial clearances and lubricant viscosities for the inner and outer films are the main input to the nonlinear time transient analysis. The nonlinear response model predicts the total shaft motion, with FFTs showing the synchronous response, and amplitudes and whirl frequencies of subsynchronous motions. The predicted synchronous amplitudes are in good agreement with the measurements, in particular at high shaft speeds. The nonlinear analysis predicts multiple frequency subsynchronous motions for speeds ranging from 10 krpm to 55 krpm (maximum speed 70 krpm), with amplitudes and frequencies that correlate well with the test data. The comparisons validate the comprehensive rotor-bearings model whose ultimate aim is to save TC design time and accelerate product development.

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