A technique for obtaining estimates of the direct damping and inertial coefficients of a squeeze-film bearing is described. This involves applying parametric identification and optimization techniques to digitized, free-decay experimental displacement records. The experimentally obtained coefficients, derived by this technique, were found to be significantly higher in magnitude (in some cases by a factor of about 10) than the corresponding values derived from conventional short-bearing theory, and to be virtually independent of the frequency of vibration.

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