This paper presents a numerical study for nonlinear rotordynamic response with bifurcations of tilting pad journal bearings when pad–pivot friction forces are taken into account. A Stribeck friction model is employed to determine the friction coefficient for the contacts between the pads and the spherical-type pivots. The boundary/mixed/hydrodynamic friction mode is determined for each pad surface based on the instantaneous angular motion of the pads. A Jeffcott type rotor supported on 5-pad tilting pad journal bearings is used for the structural model, and finite element fluid film models are utilized to calculate the reaction forces and moments on the pads. The simulation results show that pad–pivot friction plays an important role in determining the stability of the rotor system. For the autonomous condition, the friction induces a Hopf bifurcation and generates limit cycles at high rotor spin speed (>14 krpm), which were originally stable equilibrium states with a no friction condition. For the nonautonomous condition, the 1× synchronous response becomes subsynchronous/quasiperiodic responses in the high-speed range (>14 krpm) with the appearances of Neimark-Sacker bifurcations. It is shown that the outbreak points and corresponding response types are highly dependent on the state of disk imbalance. A comparison of the linear and nonlinear models clearly illustrates the importance of retaining nonlinear forces to determine potential deleterious vibration.

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