Experimental Investigations of Vertical Turbomachine Catcher Bearings
It is a challenging engineering task to develop the GT-MHR reactor plant turbomachine catcher bearings aimed at retaining in geometric axis a flexible vertical rotor having large mass and diametrical dimensions in case of electromagnetic bearings power supply failure. The novelty and relevance of the task is determined by specific feature of turbomachine configuration, high safety requirements for bearing assemblies and absence of experience in developing such bearings worldwide. Verification of analytical procedures requires performance of comprehensive experiments in a stepwise fashion starting from small-scale models to full-scale catcher bearings specimens. For this purpose, it has been planned to perform a set of R&D activities within the GT-MHR Project. This paper deals with the program of R&D activities aimed at development of catcher bearings for the GT-MHR turbomachine as well as some results of performed activities. The experience which is being gained as a result of this investigation program implementation can also be used in other mechanical engineering industries associated with development of vertical and dynamic machines.