This paper deals with the experimental analysis of the dynamic characteristics of a foil thrust bearing (FTB) designed according to specifications given by NASA scientists in 2009 (Dykas et al., 2009, “Design, Fabrication, and Performance of Foil Gas Thrust Bearings for Microturbomachinery Applications,” ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 131(1), p. 012301). The present work details the new configuration of the same test rig that was used to test start-up characteristics of the aforementioned bearing (Balducchi et al., 2013, “Experimental Analysis of the Start-Up Torque of a Mildly Loaded Foil Thrust Bearing,” ASME J. Tribol., 135(3), p. 031703). The rig has been reconfigured to test dynamic characteristics. The dynamic characteristics of the bump foil structure were measured for static loads comprised between 30 N and 150 N while measurements for the FTB were performed at 35 krpm for 30 N, 60 N, and 90 N. Excitation frequencies were comprised between 150 Hz and 750 Hz. Results showed that the dynamic stiffness of the FTB increase with excitation frequency while the equivalent damping decreases. Both stiffness and damping increase with the static load but are smaller at 35 krpm compared to 0 rpm.

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