Squeeze film dampers (SFDs) provide structural isolation and energy dissipation in jet engines and process gas compressors. The determination of linearized damping force coefficients to allow the use of well-developed linear techniques is of importance in the design and reliability analysis of rotor-bearing systems dynamic response and stability. Two parameter identification techniques to estimate the linearized viscous damping coefficients of a rotor-bearing system based on the measurement of rotor displacements are presented. The first method applies a least-square curve fitting to the damping force, while the second determines the elliptic orbit that best approximates the actual one. The filtered orbit method is applied to identify the damping force coefficients from measurements of the synchronous response of a test rotor mounted on off-centered SFDs. The identified system damping coefficients (direct and cross-coupled) are found to be independent of the imbalance magnitude and shaft speed, in spite of the large amplitude rotor motions within the dampers’ clearances. A modification of the method to include the damper bearing support flexibility shows a dramatic improvement on the predicted rotor response and more reliable force coefficients.

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