A technique for investigating the stability and damping present in centrally preloaded radially symmetric multi-mass flexible rotor bearing systems is presented. In general, one needs to find the eigenvalues of the linearized perturbation equations, though zero frequency stability maps may be found by solving as many simultaneous non-linear equations as there are dampers; and in the case of a single damper, such maps may be found directly, regardless of the number of degrees of freedom. The technique is illustrated for a simple symmetric four degree of freedom flexible rotor with an unpressurized damper. This example shows that whereas zero frequency stability maps are likely to prove to be a simple way to delineate multiple solution possibilities, they do not provide full stability information. Further, particularly for low bearing parameters, the introduction of an unpressurized squeeze film damper may promote instability in an otherwise stable system.
NASA. Lewis Research Center Rotordynamic Instability Problems in High-Performance Turbomachinery; p 391-406