Improved rotordynamic stability is desired by end users, and centrifugal compressor manufacturers are expected to meet, if not exceed, this expectation. Compressor manufacturers are required to design and build machines that are rotordynamically stable on the test stand and in the field. Confidence has been established in predicting the excitation forces from seals and bearings, but impeller aerodynamic excitation forces continue to be a challenge. While much attention is paid to impellers from an aerodynamic performance point of view, more efforts are needed from a rotordynamic standpoint. A high-pressure, re-injection centrifugal compressor is analyzed in order to predict rotordynamic stability using the best available resources for seals and bearings. Impeller shroud forces are predicted using the bulk-flow model developed by Gupta and Childs [1]. Each impeller stage is analyzed and an attempt is made to improve the estimation of impeller aerodynamic excitation forces. Logarithmic decrement (log dec) predictions for the full rotor model consisting of all the stages and seals are compared to the full-load full-pressure test measured values using a magnetic bearing exciter. A good correlation is obtained between the measured test results and analytical predictions.

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