Assuming the short bearing approximation and symmetric motions, the stability of the steady-state synchronous operation of centrally preloaded single-mass flexible rotors supported in squeeze-film bearing dampers is theoretically investigated. The stability regions are depicted over a wide range of system parameters and allow for easy determination of the stability of existing steady-state design data. The influence of rotor flexibility, rotor speed, bearing dimensions, lubricant viscosity, rotor mass distribution, and rotor unbalance on rotor-bearing system stability may be readily seen. In the absence of pressurization, instability regions were possible even with relatively high support damping, though no instability was indicated for speeds below the support natural frequency, or for bearing eccentricity ratio <0.4 at any speed. Pressurization of the lubricant supply was found to stabilize the system over the whole range of parameters investigated, regardless of unbalance, which would then be limited only by the bearing clearance. Data are presented which enable the minimum supply pressure to ensure full film lubrication to be conveniently determined.

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