A new approach to the dynamic characteristic of undamped rotor-bearing systems is presented. The dynamic behavior of a rotor bearing system is usually studied using finite element approach and/or transfer matrix approach. In this paper, the assumed mode method is first employed to describe the system response and the properties of Rayleigh quotient are applied to analyze the critical speeds of a rotor-bearing system. Three examples are used to illustrate the efficiency and the accuracy of the present approach. The numerical results, based on the present approach, stand with very good agreement with those using the finite element method. Moreover, the present approach will provide a significant computing time saving for a relative large order system. It may be a more effective way to analyze the dynamic characteristic for most of the rotor bearing systems.

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