This paper investigates the effect of gas foil thrust bearing (GFTB) on the rotordynamic performance of the rotor-gas foil bearing (GFB) system. A rigid rotor supported on two gas foil journal bearings (GFJB) and a pair of GFTBs is studied using a five degree of freedom (5-DOF) model. The studies were performed in both frequency domain using excitation frequency-dependent bearing coefficients (modal analyses) and non-linear analyses (time domain orbit simulations). Modal analyses were performed for both symmetrically and asymmetrically supported rotor systems. For the symmetric rotor, the modal stiffness for the conical mode increases with the axial force, while cylindrical mode is not affected. The axial force has little effects on the modal damping for both the cylindrical mode and conical mode. Thus, the natural frequency and threshold speed (stability limit) for the conical mode increases as the axial force increases, while these values for the cylindrical mode remain almost constant. For the asymmetric rotor, the modal stiffness for both the cylindrical mode and conical mode increases with the axial force, and thus both natural frequency and threshold speed increase with the axial force. Rotor lateral vibrations were also predicted using synchronous bearing coefficients (of both GFJB and GFTB) for both conical and cylindrical modes. The predicted rotor lateral responses show the critical speed increases with axial force for both cylindrical mode and conical mode. The nonlinear analysis using time-domain orbit simulation was also performed including the effect of axial force on the GFTB. The effect of axial force on the stability of the rotor system were discussed. The predicted results showed that the stability of rotor system improved as the axial force increases for Case 1 when the out of phase imbalances were added on the rotor. However, the stability of the rotor system for Case 2 not only influenced by the axial force but also influenced by how asymmetry the rotor is. For the in phase imbalances, the onset speed of subsynchronous motion decreases as axial force increases for the large asymmetric rotor bearing system and the decrement of the onset speed of subsynchronous decreases as the asymmetry of the rotor bearing system decreases. For the out of phase imbalances, the onset speed of subsynchronous motion also decreases as axial force increases for the large asymmetric rotor, but an opposite trend was shown as the asymmetry of the rotor decreases.

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