The effect of 2 lobes journal bearing parameters such as L/D ratio and pad preload on the bifurcation of the rigid rotor is investigated in comparison with the circular bearing. Nonlinear bearing force in the equation of motion is obtained by solving Reynolds equation using the finite difference method. Shooting method and Floquet multiplier analysis are employed to obtain limit cycles and their stability. The results show that, for some bearing parameters, multiple limit cycles coexist at a specific shaft rotational speed range. Comparing with the circular bearing of same L/D ratio, the 2 lobes bearing without pad preload decreases the onset speed of instability and also decreases speed range from the onset speed of instability (Hopf) point to the limit point of the bifurcation (saddle-node) in the subcritical bifurcation case. Increasing the pad preload only increases the onset speed of instability significantly in the small L/D ratio case. For both circular and 2 lobes bearing, increasing the L/D ratio decreases the onset speed of instability and tends to change the type of the bifurcation from supercritical to subcritical.

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