Ever-increasing demands on the turbomachinery industry result in faster, lighter machines with higher rotational speeds and power densities. Modern, well-established thermoelastohydrodynamic (TEHD) analyses predict static and dynamic bearing characteristics in the presence of a turbulent lubricant and reduced lubricant flows. Proper design of tilting-pad journal bearings (TPJB) is required for successful operation of rotating machinery. Bearing static effects include pad temperature, bearing pressure profile, and static operating position. Bearing dynamic effects include stiffness, damping, and added mass coefficients. The current body of experimental data does not include the entire range of speed and load for which TEHD analyses are thought to be valid or where industrial machines operate. Experimental data for both oil-lubricated and water-lubricated bearings is desired. Oil lubricated bearings are used in high-speed turbomachinery. Water bearing data are of interest for applications that use the process fluid as the bearing lubricant. This paper describes a new Fluid Film Bearing Test Rig (FFBTR) which is being designed to experimentally verify the TEHD analyses, both in the laminar and in the turbulent regime, and support industrial needs. Static bearing characteristics will be measured with temperature probes, pressure probes, and displacement measurements. The dynamic bearing coefficients will be identified by rotor perturbation with active magnetic bearing force actuators. The rotational speed range of the FFBTR will be 9000–22000 rpm. The test bearing size is 127 mm, giving a range of surface speeds of 60–146 m/s. The range of bearing length-to-diameter (L/D) ratios that can be tested will be 0.5–0.75. Separate lubrication systems for water-lubricated and oil-lubricated bearings will be provided. Two magnetic bearings will be used as non-contact force actuators for rotorbearing system perturbation. The designed capacity for the magnetic force actuators is 13 kN/exciter, for a total static plus dynamic load of 26 kN that can be applied to the test bearing. The actuators are designed to apply forces to the test rotor at non-synchronous frequencies up to 560 Hz. Bearing static characteristics will be measured. Static measurements will include lubricant pressure profile, lubricant and pad temperatures, and static eccentricity. During dynamic testing, test shaft and bearing tilting pad motion will be measured. Dynamic bearing stiffness, damping, and added mass coefficients will be identified from force and displacement measurements. The frequency dependence in tilting-pad journal bearing coefficients will be investigated. The combination of static and dynamic measurements will be used to validate the TEHD analyses and provide design information to industry.

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