The problem of nonsynchronous whirl induced by internal friction is shown to be important when rotating machinery is designed for operation at supercritical speeds. Mathematical methods are used to determine the stability speed threshold of nonsyncronous whirl instability for an unbalanced flexible rotor on a rigid foundation. This threshold of instability is shown to be the same as the threshold for balanced rotors established by previous investigations. The location of the external damping (foundation or rotor) is shown to be important in determining stability when the foundation is made very rigid. The effect of shaft stiffness orthotropy on nonsynchronous whirl induced by internal friction is also investigated. Results from the stability analyses are verified by numerical solution of the differential equations. It is concluded that rotors can be safely operated up to speeds about eighty percent above the significant critical speed if the external damping is larger than the internal friction, and that shaft stiffness orthotropy has an insignificant effect on friction-induced whirl.

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