An approach for including the stiffness and damping of elastohydrodynamic point contacts in deep groove ball bearing equilibrium models
This work presents a methodology for including the Elastohydrodynamic (EHD) film effects to a lateral vibration model of a deep groove ball bearing by using a novel approximation for the EHD contacts by a set of equivalent nonlinear spring and viscous damper. The fitting of the equivalent contact model used the results of a transient multi-level finite difference EHD algorithm to adjust the dynamic parameters. The comparison between the approximated model and the finite difference simulated results showed a suitable representation of the stationary and dynamic contact behaviors. The linear damping hypothesis could be shown as a rough representation of the actual hysteretic behavior of the EHD contact. Nevertheless, the overall accuracy of the model was not impaired by the use of such approximation. Further on, the inclusion of the equivalent EHD contact model is equated for both the restoring and the dissipative components of the bearing's lateral dynamics. The derived model was used to investigate the effects of the rolling element bearing lubrication on the vibration response of a rotor's lumped parameter model. The fluid film stiffening effect, previously only observable by experimentation, could be quantified using the proposed model, as well as the portion of the bearing damping provided by the EHD fluid film. Results from a laboratory rotor-bearing test rig were used to indirectly validate the proposed contact approximation. A finite element model of the rotor accounting for the lubricated bearing formulation adequately portrayed the frequency content of the bearing orbits observed on the test rig.