The traditional approach is to characterize the behavior and performance of fluid film hydrodynamic journal bearings by means of linearized bearing analysis. The objective of this paper is to examine the nonlinear characteristics of the said journal bearing. Results based on bearing stiffness characteristics, steady and transient vibration orbits, and frequency response functions obtained from both linear and nonlinear bearing simulations are compared with each other. Conclusions are drawn from the results obtained from a prototypical bearing configuration used as an example in this analysis.

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