On modeling the static shape control of an adaptive air foil bearing
Aerodynamic foil bearings are used in various industrial applications, e.g. in cooling turbines, small gas turbines or exhaust gas turbochargers, to support light, high-speed rotors under extreme operating conditions. Air (or another gas) is used as a lubricant in these bearings. In addition, the possible thermal deformations and production errors can be compensated by a flexible foil structure between the lubricant film and the bearing housing in air foil bearings. Since many static and dynamic properties of the lubricant are strongly dependent on the inner contour of the bearing, the idea of an adaptive air foil bearing (AAFB) is developed to optimize the performance of the bearing at different operating points. This paper focuses on a semi-analytical approach based on plate theory and the Ritz method for approximating the static shape control of a piezoelectrically actuatable AAFB. The main objective of this study is to consider adaptive bearing shells in calculating the behavior of an AAFB, as they provide additional degrees of freedom to a passive air foil bearing without adaptivity. Before the final step is taken, the model presented in this analysis is used for the shape optimization of the adaptive frame of AAFB in order to achieve the most efficient shape adaption with regard to target shapes.