A model for lightly loaded steadily rotating shaft/bearing/seal systems is proposed in this paper. The model is based on modal characteristics for the rotor, and rotational characteristics for the fluid dynamic forces generated in bearings and/or seals. The fluid average circumferential velocity ratio as a nonlinear function of shaft eccentricity represents a key factor in the model. The model is extremely useful for rotor stability analysis. The model adequacy was proved for one and two lateral mode models of rotors.

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