High-performance, composite-material flywheel systems under current development for energy-storage purposes differ significantly from turbine/compressor systems in two respects: (1) the flywheel rim attachment to its hub is very flexible, for both translation and tilting, and (2) these flexibilities depend upon rotational speed through centrifugal stiffening. Although some free vibrational analyses of similar but simpler systems have recently been published, it is believed that the eight-degree-of-freedom analysis presented here is the most comprehensive one published to date for such systems. Free whirling, stability, and response to unbalance and initial tilt are analyzed here. Numerical results are presented for some specific flywheel systems under development by Sandia Laboratories.

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