In this work, the feedback-controlled lubrication regime, based on a model-free designed proportional-derivative (PD) controller, is studied and experimentally tested in a flexible rotor mounted on an actively-lubricated tilting-pad journal bearing (active TPJB). With such a lubrication regime, both the resulting pressure distribution over the pads and hence the bearing dynamic properties are dynamically modified. The control strategy is focused on reducing the system lateral vibration around its operational equilibrium position in a wide frequency range. For this purpose, servovalves are used as actuators and the flexible rotor lateral movements as feedback control signals. To synthesise the PD controller gains an objective function is optimized in the stabilizing gain domain and then chosen from a subdomain imposed by the servovalves restrictions. The D-decomposition approach expanded to experimentally characterized multi-input multi-output systems is used to determine the stabilizing PD gain domain. The main contribution of this work is to demonstrate the enhancement of the dynamic response of a flexible rotor-bearing system supported by an active TPJB by means of the feedback-controlled lubrication regime featured via PD controllers. Good experimental results are obtained, and a significant improvement of the flexible rotor-bearing system dynamic performance can be experimentally demonstrated.
Proceedings of 16th Nordic Symposium on Tribology - Nordtrib 2014, 2014