This is the first (Part I) of two papers describing recent results of a research program directed at developing a vibration damper suitable for high temperature turbomachinery applications. It is expected that such dampers will replace squeeze-film dampers that use oil as the working fluid and have limitations at higher temperatures. A novel gas operated bearing damper has been analytically and experimentally evaluated for its damping characteristics. Theory that is based on the isentropic assumptions predicts the damper performance characteristics reasonably well. A maximum damping level of 13.2 lb-s/in at a frequency of 100 hz was measured with a single actuator of the gas damper and, since many such actuators can be placed circumferentially around the squirrel cage, considerable damping levels can be realized. The study also shows that significantly higher damping levels can be achieved by modifying the current design.

Part I describes the theoretical model that has been developed based on isentropic assumptions. This model is an improved version of the previous theory [1,2] and includes the supply groove effects, dynamic area changes of the inlet feeding holes and the effects of flow choking on damper behavior. The governing equations are derived and theoretical predictions using these equations have been made for the three hardwares that were experimentally investigated (see Part II).

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