Stepped thrust gas film bearings are widely used for high speed rotating machinery because of their simple structure, relatively high load carrying capacity and stability. In such bearings, the gas film inertia forces may play an important role under high speed conditions. In this paper, the vibration analysis of high speed, stepped thrust gas film bearings considering the inertia effects is described. In the numerical analysis, the static and dynamic pressure distributions in pocket and land regions are evaluated from the generalized Reynolds equation considering the centrifugal force. The pressure values at the step are calculated by considering the conservation of mechanical energy and the continuity of gas film flow in pocket and land regions. Moreover, the dynamic response of bearings subjected to impulsive and sinusoidal excitations are analyzed for different values of film thickness ratios. From the numerical results, the effects of gas film inertia on the vibration characteristics of bearings are clarified.

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