In this paper, we investigate the Shilnikov type multi-pulse chaotic dynamics for a rotor-active magnetic bearings (AMB) system with 8-pole legs and the time-varying stiffness. The stiffness in the AMB is considered as the time varying in a periodic form. The dimensionless equation of motion for the rotor-AMB system with the time-varying stiffness in the horizontal and vertical directions is a two-degree-of-freedom nonlinear system with quadratic and cubic nonlinearities and parametric excitation. The asymptotic perturbation method is used to obtain the averaged equations in the case of primary parametric resonance and 1/2 subharmonic resonance. It is found from the numerical results that there are the phenomena of the Shilnikov type multi-pulse chaotic motions for the rotor-AMB system. A new jumping phenomenon is discovered in the rotor-AMB system with the time-varying stiffness.

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