Rigid roller journal bearing dynamic behaviour of a rigid rotor supported on plain journal bearings was studied, focusing particular attention on its nonlinear aspects.
Under the hypothesis that the motion of the rotor mass center is plane, the rotor has five Lagrangian co-ordinates which are represented by the co-ordinates of the mass center and the three angular co-ordinates needed to express the rotor's rotation with respect to its center of mass. In such conditions, the system is characterised not only by the nonlinearity of the bearings but also by the nonlinearity due to the trigonometric functions of the three assigned angular co-ordinates.
However, if two angular co-ordinates have values that are generally quite small because of the small radial clearances in the bearings, the system is de facto linear in these angular co-ordinates. Moreover, if the third angular co-ordinate is assumed to be cyclic , the number of degrees of freedom in the system is reduced to four and nonlinearity depends solely on the presence of the journal bearings, whose reactions were predicted with the π-film, short bearing model.
After writing the equations of motion in this way and determining a numerical routine for a Runge–Kutta integration the most significant aspects of the dynamics of a symmetrical rotor were studied, in the presence of either pure static or pure couple unbalance and also when both types of unbalance were present. Two categories of rotors, whose motion is prevailingly a cylindrical whirl or a conical whirl, were put under investigation
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