An experimental investigation has been carried out into the influence of side-plate flow restrictors on the performance of a squeeze film damper bearing. The experimental rig used was a flexible rotor with a disk positioned midway between two squeeze film damper bearings. One of the squeeze film dampers was fitted with side plates that could be adjusted and accurately located with respect to the squeeze film damper journal. It has been found that the influence of the side-plate clearance on the ability of the squeeze film damper to reduce the amplitude of the central disk can be considerable if the side-plate clearance is less than the radial clearance. As the side-plate clearance reduces towards zero, the effectiveness of the squeeze film damper diminishes until the amplitudes obtained are the same as those measured when the rolling-contact bearing is rigidly supported. An interesting type of precessing elliptical orbit was discovered for conditions where the “jump” phenomenon was operating.

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