Abstract

Pressure is the constitutive quantity governing the flow field in gas lubricated bearings. Knowledge of the pressure is of principal importance in the fundamental understanding of such bearings as well as for the validation of their models. Pressure measurements can be done from the bearing side using pressure taps, yet, several details will not be captured. In order to acquire a continuous scan of the pressure field inside the bearing, it is necessary to measure from the rotor side. This paper presents an instrumented measurement high-speed rotor with embedded pressure probes and a wireless telemetry that is capable of the continuous pressure field measurement within the gas film of journal bearings. The rotor was tested on externally pressurized gas journal bearings (EPGJBs) (D = 40 mm and L/D = 1), and pressure profile measurements were acquired up to 37.5 krpm (DN 1.5 M). Measurements at discrete points using pressure taps inside the test bearing were also performed for comparison. The measurements from both sides (bearing and rotor) were in good agreement at quasi-static conditions. At higher operational speeds, it was necessary to perform an in situ system identification and calibration for the embedded pressure probes using the bearing side measurements as a reference. The in situ system identification technique was successful to reconstruct the attenuated pressure signals for a wide range of supply pressures (amplitudes) and rotor speeds (excitation frequencies). The instrumented rotor was proven qualified to perform time-resolved pressure measurements within the gas film of journal bearings up to 37.5 krpm.

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