Foil bearings are a key enabling technology for advanced and oil-free rotating machinery. In certain applications, they provide a level of performance that is difficult or impossible to match with other technologies. A number of reasonably successful analytical techniques to predict bearing load capacity, power loss, and stiffness have been developed. Prediction of damping, however, has remained problematic. This work presents a fresh look at the damping problem. Using a simplified representation of a bump foil, this work considers explicitly adding the load dependence of the friction force. This approach is shown to provide a good match to previous experimental data. Parametric study results for the various model parameters are presented to examine the characteristics of this model. It is concluded that the load-dependent frictional force is important to consider for a bump foil damping model.
damping, foil bearing, friction, multi-harmonic balance