A new transient facility for the study of time averaged and unsteady aerodynamics and heat transfer in a high pressure turbine was recently commissioned. During the facility design a high priority was placed on ease of access to the turbine blading to facilitate the development of blade mounted instrumentation. The turbine disc was cantilevered on a shaft by a thin annular link, with the shaft passing back through the disc to a single row and matched pair of relatively closely spaced bearings. The bearings were originally designed for use in a marine gas turbine. Due to the facility’s novel mode of operation the bearings were working well beyond some of their original design limits, primarily due to the high turbine acceleration and the high speed/low load condition at the end of facility operation.
During the facility design a programme of work was undertaken to predict its dynamic performance. This was continued during commissioning to measure actual facility performance. In this paper the predicted dynamic performance of the disc/shaft assembly and its bearing system are presented. The programme of work undertaken during the facility commissioning phase to ascertain actual dynamic performance is described, and the results discussed. Finally, the technique developed to field balance the rotating assembly following changes to blade instrumentation is described.