A method for field identification of stiffness and damping characteristics of fluid film bearings FFB is derived. The method relies on measuring both the shaft and the housing’s vibration response. Two independent unbalance runs are performed and the synchronous response is recorded. Using the housing vibration data, the amount of unbalance acting on the bearing, as well as the flexible shafts’ “modal mass” can be experimentally determined. Thus, with this method, field engineers can identify the bearings impedance in flexible rotor-bearing systems. A test rig comprising a flexible shaft supported on two cylindrical journal bearings is used to verify the proposed method. The amount of uncertainty in the derived coefficients is calculated.

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