A new technique is proposed for the optimum design of suspension systems for rotating shafts. In this approach the conventional method of trial and error search for optimum parameter values for a prescribed design configuration has been replaced by an efficient two-stage procedure. In the first stage a generic force is substituted for the suspension system to be designed and the absolute optimum (or limiting) performance characteristics of the shaft are computed. In the second stage, using a chosen suspension system configuration, parameter identification techniques are applied to find the design parameters so that the suspension system will respond as close as possible to the absolute optimal performance. In this approach the repetitive shaft analyses required in the conventional search techniques are avoided. Hence, the new technique is relatively efficient computationally and is suitable for large systems. Both linear and nonlinear suspension systems can be designed. A simple Jeffcott rotor is used to demonstrate the new technique.

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