The mechanical simplicity and damping qualities of fluid-film bearings makes them attractive possibilities for spool-shaft bearings of gas turbines. The simultaneous high-speed rotation of journal and bearing, however, causes whirl stability to be a major problem. Computerized analysis was utilized to screen a spectrum of practical candidate configurations. Stability threshold plots were expeditiously generated using accurately determined cross-coupled spring and damping coefficients to represent the bearings. Performance of each bearing type was determined as a function of configuration, ambient pressure, and machined clearance. The selected three-lobe design was further tested with a “time-transient” analysis that accurately traced a complete time history of the motions of the system in its various degrees of freedom.

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