Air foil bearings (AFBs) are introduced as promising bearings for oil-free turbomachinery applications. AFBs provide reliable operation at high speed and high temperature with negligible power loss. Hybrid Air Foil Bearing (HAFB) technology utilizes the radial injection of externally pressurized air into the traditional hydrodynamic AFB’s film thickness through orifices attached to the top foil. Previous studies have reported enhancement in the rotordynamic stability of HAFBs compared to traditional hydrodynamic AFBs. HAFBs have several orifices distributed in the circumferential direction. In this study, the effect of the circumferential location of radial injection on the rotordynamic performance of the rotor-HAFB is studied. Analytical and experimental evaluations of the rotordynamic performance of a rotor supported by two single-pad HAFBs are presented. Parametric studies are conducted using three sets of single-pad HAFBs. The circumferential locations of orifices are different for each set. The presented simulation analyses consist of time-domain orbit simulation and frequency-domain modal analysis. Imbalance responses of rotor-HAFB were measured with various orifice locations and the results agree well with predictions. Comparison of the rotordynamic performance of HAFBs with different orifice configurations demonstrate substantial improvement in rotordynamic stability as well as enhancement in the stiffness and damping coefficients of HAFBs by choosing the best circumferential location for radial injection to control rotor eccentricity and attitude angle.

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