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Experiments on a Large Flexure Pivot Journal Bearing

April 26, 2019

Join Waukesha Bearings at ASME Turbo Expo 2019, June 17-21, for the presentation of "Experiments on a Large Flexure Pivot Journal Bearing: Summary of Test Results and Comparison with Predictions."

Paper Number: 90278
Session: 34-6 Tilting Pad Bearings
Date: Thursday, June 20, 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Presenter: Dr. Filippo Cangioli

Dr. Giuseppe Vannini, Principal Engineer, Baker Hughes a GE Company
Dr. Filippo Cangioli, Senior Applications Engineer, Waukesha Bearing Corporation
Prof. Enrico Ciulli, Full Professor, University of Pisa
Mr. Matteo Nuti, Test Engineer, AM Testing srl
Prof. Paola Forte, Full Professor, University of Pisa
Dr. Jongsoo Kim, Chief Engineer, Waukesha Bearings
Mr. Richard Livermore-Hardy, Engineering Manager, Waukesha Bearings

Flexure Pivot® Journal Bearings (FPJBs) have typically been used in small high-speed applications such as integrally geared compressors (IGCs) and multistage high-speed compressors, where the temperature management and the rotordynamic stability of the machine are the main targets. Nevertheless, the need for high-speed applications may also be applicable to large compressors and for this reason a large 280mm diameter four-pad FPJB with L/D=0.7 has been designed, built and tested by the authors.

The test facility is a novel rig, set up at the University of Pisa, that includes a floating test bearing and a rigid rotor supported by two stiff rolling element bearings. Both static and dynamic loads are applied through hydraulic actuators, capable of 270kN static and 40kN overall dynamic load.

The instrumentation can measure all the relevant test boundary conditions as well as the static and dynamic quantities that characterize the bearing performance.

This paper presents the results from a test campaign conceived to explore not only the design conditions (7000rpm rotational speed and 0.75MPa unit load) but also the sensitivity to the unit load (from 0.2MPa minimum load up to 2.2MPa maximum load) as well as the oil flow. The results are discussed and compared with predictions from an existing numerical code.

large Flexure Pivot journal bearing