The stability of rotating machinery consisting of flexible rotors supported by fluid film bearings is significantly affected by the dynamic characteristics of the bearings and in particular, the bearing profiles as well as the bearing reaction loads, which, in statically indeterminate systems, are in turn strongly influenced by the relative transverse alignment of the bearings. Using a simple four bearing statically indeterminate model, it is shown that relatively simple variants of the circular bearings, viz. elliptic and 2-pad offset bearings display better system stability characteristics systems in aligned situations and are also more likely to be stable in misaligned situations.

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