The effect of angular misalignment of plain journal bearings on the oil whirl and oil whip phenomena was investigated using a test rig comprising a flexible one inch diameter shaft supported on two cylindrical fluid film bearings. A matrix of experiments was designed where a precisely controlled angular misalignment between the shaft and the drive end, the non-drive end, or both bearings was induced. In each case we measure the onset of oil whirl and/or the onset of oil whip and the maximum speed that the test rig can reach before reaching a maximum vibration displacement of 1 mm at the location of the displacement sensor. The results show clearly that the angular misalignment of the bearings with respect to the shaft help delay the onset of oil whip from 3200 rpm to 4500 rpm in some cases. An interesting and new observation was the effect of the configuration of the misalignment on the overall stability characteristics. In particular, when the two bearings were misaligned in the same direction such that the two misaligned bearing planes were parallel to each other the onset of instability was more delayed and the overall operation was smoother.

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