A theoretical nonlinear analysis of tilting-pad journal bearings is presented for small and large unbalance loads under isothermal conditions. The radial displacements of internal pad surface due to pressure field are determined by a two-dimensional finite element method in order to define the actual film thickness. The influence of pad deformations on the journal orbit, on the minimum film thickness and on the maximum pressure is studied. The effects of pad displacements are to decrease the minimum film thickness and to increase the maximum pressure. The orbit amplitude is also increased by 20 percent for the large unbalance load compared to the one obtained for rigid pad.

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