Analytical solutions of thin film dampers are useful for determining critical speeds and stability of rotor systems. Most thin film dampers in use are of short axial length, and closed-form solutions to the Reynolds equations exist for estimating pressure, forces, and damping for these types of dampers. This article compares the fluid film forces and damping estimated by the short film bearing model form of the Reynolds equations to the calculated forces and damping of a transient computational fluid dynamic simulation. For this comparison, the fluid was assumed to be incompressible, laminar, and isoviscous. The fluid film forces and damping are calculated from integrating the pressure distribution over the surface of the damper due to small amplitude motions about a steady state static off-center circular orbit. In this case, no cavitation is assumed, and the journal has no angular velocity, so direct stiffness cannot be calculated from the closed-form solution. Radial clearance, journal length, and journal eccentricity have a significant effect on fluid force and damping within a thin film damper. Fluid density does not affect fluid force or damping substantially, while fluid viscosity does. Both the closed-form solutions and computational fluid dynamics simulation compare well with each other and reflect these trends.

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