The physical model of a high-speed vertical rotating machine was taken as the example. The motion differential equations of the rotor system were established by the Lagrange equation and numerically solved by the Wilson-θ method. The whirling characteristics of the rotor excited by the base’s harmonic motions have been analyzed. The whirling directions are different between the rotor’s upper and lower ends. And the whirling characteristics of the rotor vary with the frequency of the base’s motion. Besides, there exists such a region of the rotor’s rotary speed, in which the whirling characteristics and amplitudes of the rotor system are relatively steady, so the aseismic tests at a certain lower speed can be done to examine the aseismic capability of the rotor system at operating speed.

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