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Hydodynamic Bearing with Active Pads: An Integrated System of Self-Identification and Control for More Efficient Rotating Machinery

Grant number: 19/23220-2
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: May 01, 2020 - April 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering - Mechanical Engineering Design
Principal Investigator:Rodrigo Nicoletti
Grantee:Rodrigo Nicoletti
Home Institution: Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Large rotating machines are elements of great importance to the production chain and they can eventually operate under unpredicted or off-the-norm conditions, thus resulting to failure and signifcant economic losses. One way of reducing the consequences of such off-the-norm operation of these machines is the modification of the characteristics of the bearings that support the rotor. However, with conventional bearings, this is only possible thorugh complete stops of the machine, which also result to economic losses. The solution to this problem comes from the development of active bearings that can change the dynamic characteristics of the machine during operation without needing machine stops. In this sense, the present project aims at developing a tilting-pad journal bearing whose pads are controlled by electromagnetic actuators (an innovative design solution). By mounting the electromagnetic actuators in the bearing casing, behind the pads, one can exert electromagnetic forces on the pads and make them change their angular position in relation to the bearing. Hence, one can modify the dynamic characteristics of the rotor-bearing system for desired and more appropriated values for a given operational condition, thus reducing the need of machine stops and the consequent economic losses. For that, a prototype will be built and tested experimentally. The system will be tested in terms of the capacity of modifying the dynamic characteristics of the system (controllability) and in terms of the capacity of identifying the operating conditions of the system (self-identification). (AU)