Conference paper

Comparative Evaluation of Foil Bearings with Different Compliant Structures for Improved Manufacturability

Potential geometrical deviations in bump foil bearings due to manufacturing uncertainty can have significant effects on both the local stiffness and clearance, and hence, affecting the overall bearing performance. The manufacturing uncertainty of bump type foil bearings was investigated, showing large geometrical deviations, using a developed measurement tool for the formed bump foils. A reduced order foil bearing model was used in a Monte Carlo simulation studying the effect of manufacturing noise on the onset of instability, highlighting the sensitivity of the rotor-bearing system to such manufacturing deviations. It was found that 30% of the simulated cases resulted improvements in stability, the remaining cases underperformed. Attempting to increase the robustness of the bearing, two other compliant structures replacing the classical gen-II bump foils were investigated from a manufacturing perspective. The first is a modified bump type Sinusoidal foil, and the second is the Cantilever beam foil. Consequently, quasi-static load-displacement tests were executed showing deviations in local clearance and stiffness for the classical bump type compliant structure compared to the other designs. It was found that the Cantilever beam foils yield more robustness compared to the bump type foils. Finally, an analytical model for the sequential engagement of the compliant structure is presented and validated with experimental measurements for both bump type and Cantilever structures.


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