Nonlinear damping suspension has gained attention owing to its excellent vibration isolation performance. In this paper, a cubic nonlinear viscous damping suspension was introduced to a rotor bearing system for vibration isolation between the bearing and environment. The nonlinear dynamic response of the rotor bearing system was investigated thoroughly. First, the nonlinear oil film force was solved based short bearing approximation and half Sommerfeld boundary condition. Then the motion equations of the system was built considering the cubic nonlinear viscous damping. A computational method was used to solve the equations of motion, and the bifurcation diagrams were used to display the motions. The influences of rotor-bearing system parameters were discussed from the results of numerical calculation, including the eccentricity, mass, stiffness, damping and lubricating oil viscosity. The results showed that: (1) medium eccentricity shows a wider stable speed range; (2) rotor damping has little effect to the stability of the system; (3) lower mass ratio produces a stable response; (4) medium suspension/journal stiffness ratio contributes to a wider stable speed range; (5) a higher viscosity shows a wider stable speed range than lower viscosity. From the above results, the rotor bearing system shows complex nonlinear dynamic behavior with nonlinear viscous damping. These results will be helpful to carrying out the optimal design of the rotor bearing system.

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