Determination of Ball Bearing Dynamic Stiffness,
ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL CANOGA PARK CA ROCKETDYNE DIV
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The dynamic radial stiffness characteristics of rolling element bearings are currently determined by analytical methods have not been experimentally verified. These bearing data are vital to rotating machinery design integrity because accurate critical speeds and rotor stability predictions are highly dependent on the bearing stiffness. A tester was designed capable of controlling the bearing axial preload, speed, and rotor unbalance. The rotor and support structures were constructed to permit critical speeds that are predominantly determined by a 57 mm test bearing. A curve of calculated critical speed versus stiffness was used to determine the actual bearing stiffness from the empirical data. The results of extensive testing are used to verify analytical predictions, increase confidence in existing bearing computer programs, and to serve as a data base for efforts to correct these programs.