This paper presents a generic technique for the transient nonlinear dynamic analysis (TNDA) and the static equilibrium stability analysis (SESA) of a turbomachine running on foil air bearings (FABs). This technique is novel in two aspects: (i) the turbomachine structural model is generic, based on uncoupled modes (rotor is flexible, nonsymmetric and includes gyroscopic effects; dynamics of support structure can be accommodated) and (ii) the finite-difference (FD) state equations of the air films are preserved and solved simultaneously with the state equations of the foil structures and the state equations of the turbomachine modal model, using a readily available implicit integrator (for TNDA) and a predictor-corrector approach (for SESA). An efficient analysis is possible through the extraction of the state Jacobian matrix using symbolic computing. The analysis is first applied to the finite-element model of a small commercial automotive turbocharger that currently runs on floating ring bearings (FRBs) and is slightly adapted here for FABs. The results of SESA are shown to be consistent with TNDA. The case study shows that, for certain bearing parameters, it is possible to obtain a wide speed range of stable static equilibrium operation with FABs, in contrast to the present installation with FRBs. Application of the method to a test rig reported in the literature reveals a reasonable degree of correlation between theory and experiment.

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