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Thermal Management and Rotordynamic Performance of a Hot Rotor-Gas Foil Bearings System: Part 1—Measurements

[+] Author Affiliations
Luis San Andrés, Keun Ryu

Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Tae Ho Kim

Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul, Korea

Paper No. GT2010-22981, pp. 253-262; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2010: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 6: Structures and Dynamics, Parts A and B
  • Glasgow, UK, June 14–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4401-4 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3872-3
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Implementation of gas foil bearings (GFBs) into micro gas turbines requires careful thermal management with accurate measurements verifying model predictions. This two-part paper presents test data and analytical results for a test rotor and GFB system operating hot (157°C max. rotor OD temperature). Part 1 details the test rig and measurements of bearing temperatures and rotor dynamic motions obtained in a hollow rotor supported on a pair of 2nd generation GFBs, each consisting of a single top foil (38.14 mm ID) uncoated for high temperature operation, and five bump strip support layers. An electric cartridge (max. 360°C) loosely installed inside the rotor (1.065 kg, 38.07 mm OD, and 4.8 mm thick) is a heat source warming the rotor-bearing system. While coasting down from 30 krpm to rest, large elapsed times (50∼70 s) demonstrate rotor airborne operation, near friction free; and, while traversing the system critical speed at ∼13 krpm, the rotor peak motion amplitude decreases as the system temperature increases. In tests conducted at a fixed rotor speed of 30 krpm, while the shaft heats, a cooling gas stream of increasing strength is set to manage the temperatures in the bearings and rotor. The effect of the cooling flow, if turbulent in character, is most distinctive at the highest heater temperature. For operation at a lower heater temperature condition, however, the cooling flow stream demonstrates a very limited effectiveness. The measurements demonstrate the reliable performance of the rotor-GFB system when operating hot. The test results, along with full disclosure on the materials and geometry of the test bearings and rotor, serve to benchmark a predictive tool. A companion paper (Part 2) compares the measured bearing temperatures and the rotor response amplitudes to predictions.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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