Aerodynamic exciting forces have caused severe rotor whirl of axial compressors and turbines. One disturbing force investigated is due to circumferential variation of static pressure acting on the cylindrical surface of rotor, particularly within labyrinth seals. Another aerodynamic disturbing force is due to eccentricity of rotor causing circumferential variation of blade-tip clearance, and a corresponding variation of local efficiency and unbalanced torque. Seal deflection criteria and torque deflection criteria are presented as design guides for stable rotor systems. These criteria, the form of which comes from analysis of rotor dynamics, correlate design parameters of four examples of unstable rotor systems which exhibited whirl.

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