An experimental investigation has been carried out into the influence of side-plate flow restrictors on the performance of a squeeze-film damper bearing. The experimental rig used was a flexible rotor with a disc positioned mid-way between two squeeze-film damper bearings. One of the squeeze-film dampers was fitted with side-plates which could be adjusted and accurately located with respect to the squeeze-film damper journal.

It has been found that the influence of the side-plate clearance on the ability of the squeeze-film damper to reduce the amplitude of the central disc can be considerable if the side-plate clearance is less than the radial clearance. As the side-plate clearance reduces towards zero, the effectiveness of the squeeze-film damper diminishes until the amplitudes obtained are the same as those measured when the rolling-contact bearing is rigidly supported.

An interesting type of precessing elliptical orbit was discovered for conditions where the ‘jump’ phenomenon was operating.

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