In turbomachinery, seals are used to prevent fluid leakage. At seal part, rotordynamic fluid force (RD fluid force), which causes whirling motion of rotor, is generated. Under certain conditions, the RD fluid force may contribute to instability of the machine. There are several cases that the whirling is accompanied by eccentricity due to the influence of gravity, or the whirling orbit becomes elliptical due to the influence of the bearing support anisotropy. In these cases, mathematical modeling of the RD fluid forces becomes increasingly complex. As a result, the RD fluid force measurement is more preferable. To improve the measurement and evaluation technology of the RD fluid force, a method to arbitrarily control whirling of the orbit is required.
In this paper, RD fluid force measurement by controlling the shape of the orbit using an active magnetic bearing (AMB) is proposed. A contact type mechanical seal is used as a test specimen. When the rotating shaft is whirling, the RD fluid force due to hydrodynamics lubrication and the frictional force due to contact occur on the sliding surface. The resultant force of these forces is taken as the reaction force of mechanical seal and the measurement is performed. The measured reaction force of the mechanical seal is compared with simulation results and the validity of the proposed measurement method is confirmed.