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Tech Note June 1996

Technical Notes from Dr. Mel Giberson, P.E. – TRI President

The facts about Babbitt Bearings

  • Babbitted bearings are expected to serve for years and years without significant problems. In contrast, rolling element bearings have expected lifetime usually requiring continued replacement.
  • Rotor Vibration: Bearing design usually has a significant influence on rotor vibration.

If you are continually servicing your babbitted or rolling element bearings, it’s time to consider the cost. Your cost effective solution is right here. Contact TRI for a bearing design evaluation.

Recent TRI Project Achievements:

Rotor vibrations of 200 MW GE Turbine-Generator are tamed!!!

Contact TRI for detailed information concerning this project or other TRI solutions.

The problem: A series of 200 MW GE steam turbine-generators has had rotor vibration problems for years. The HP turbine rotor vibration was particularly susceptible to changes of load, steam conditions and valve position.

The solution: TRI evaluated the problem using TRI proprietary software. The software analyzed the rotor-bearing dynamics. The analysis showed that rotor vibrations were a result of changes in bearing film stiffness during operation. It also indicated that three bearings were most influential.

A new design using three TRI Align-A-Pad bearings in place of the existing tilting pad bearing and two elliptical bearings was implemented. The new bearings were specifically designed with the proper film stiffness.

The result: Low amplitude and steady vibrations over the entire load range

  • TRI Consulting Engineering Services – to solve vibration and bearing problems and to design upgrade
  • Rotor-bearing performance analysis by computer simulation
  • Babbitted journal bearings
  • Align-A-Pad bearings
  • Fluid drives: 1,000 to 30,000+ hp.
  • Full machine shop with 5-Axis CNC capabilities
  • Oil systems for fluid drives, turbines and related equipment
  • Seminars on bearing design and fluid drives
  • Arrange a visit to your plant of TRI’s new Product and Service Display Van

Over 15,000 MW of Electrical Generation Depend Upon TRI Bearings

Tel: 610-363-8570 or 800-363-8571 Fax: 610-524-6326 EMail:

TRI Answers phone calls, returns e-mails and responds to fax inquiries

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