An analysis is developed for the time-variable friction during the start-up of a rotor system. The analysis is based on a dynamic friction model that has been developed from the theory of unsteady lubrication and can describe the observed friction characteristics. The model reduces to the Stribeck curve of friction versus steady velocity, and shows hysteresis curves in oscillating velocity. The “Dahl effect” of a presliding displacement before the breakaway is also included. The results indicate that the friction characteristics and energy friction losses, during the start-up, depend on a set of dimensionless parameters that represent the bearing as well as the dynamic system. The study shows that appropriate design and operation can prevent stick-slip friction and minimize wear during start-up.

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