Measurements of casing acceleration on an automotive turbocharger running to a top speed of 115 krpm and driven by ambient temperature pressurized air are reported. Waterfall acceleration spectra versus rotor speed show the effects of increasing lubricant inlet pressure and temperature on the turbocharger rotordynamic response. A comprehensive analysis of the test data forwards regimes of speed operation with two subsynchronous whirl motions (rotordynamic instabilities). Increasing the lubricant feed pressure delays the onset speed of instability for the most severe subsynchronous motion. However, increasing the lubricant feed pressure also produces larger synchronous displacements. The effect of lubricant feed temperature is minimal on the onset and end speeds of rotordynamic instability. Nevertheless, operation with a cold lubricant exhibits lower amplitudes of motion, synchronous and subsynchronous. The experimental results show the subsynchronous frequencies of motion do not lock (whip) at system natural frequencies but continuously track the rotor speed. No instabilities (subsynchronous whirl) remain for operating speeds above 90 krpm. Bearings greatly influence turbocharger (TC) rotordynamic performance.

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