Test Rigs

ROMAC operates and maintains a number of experimental test rigs for exploring various topics in the areas of fluid film bearings, rotordynamics, seals, and controls. These test rigs are developed with the direct feedback and support of ROMAC member companies.

For more information on our experimental program, see our recently published review paper.

  • Stability Test Rig

    Stability Test Rig

    The stability test rig was designed for experiments in studying bearing performance and rotordynamic stability with its ability to measure natural frequencies, damping ratios, vibration levels, and bearing temperatures. Designed to mimic the operating conditions of industrial compressors, this machine can operate above the first critical speed with a maximum operating speed of 12,000 rpm. Recent experiments involved studying the effects of bearing starvation on bearing performance and rotordynamic stability.

  • Magnetic Bearing Test Rig

    Magnetic Bearing Test Rig

    The magnetic bearing test rig was designed to study the use of active magnetic bearings (AMBs) in controlling rotor vibration in high-speed turbomachinery. In addition to using magnetic bearings for rotor support and vibration control, magnetic actuators are also used to apply destabilizing forces to the system in studying rotordynamic stability. The test rig also allows for the development and testing of various control methods for AMBs. Recent experiments include the study of unbalance compensation with input delay.

  • Seal Test Rig

    Seal Test Rig

    The seal test rig was designed to perform experimental measurements of low and high-pressure seal performance. Capable of high speeds and pressures up to 1,500 psi, this test rig will prove useful in validating ROMAC’s seal analysis tools for gas seals, liquid seals, and multi-phase environments. Experiments on novel seal designs will also be performed.

  • Compressor Surge Test Rig

    Compressor Surge Test Rig

    The compressor surge test rig was developed to experimentally study the behavior and control of surge in high-speed compressors. The active magnetic bearings employed in this machine allow it to operate beyond the surge line, demonstrating the usefulness of this approach in maximizing compressor efficiency. The test rig is also used to study unique control methods for magnetic bearings.

  • Fluid Film Bearing Test Rig

    Fluid Film Bearing Test Rig

    The fluid film bearing test rig under development will allow for the measurement of bearing properties at the high speeds and high loads commonly encountered in rotating machinery. The use of novel techniques will allow for the measurement of bearing force coefficients at an accuracy currently unmatched by other test rigs in existence.

  • Bearing Damage Test Rig

    Bearing Damage Test Rig

    The bearing damage test rig under development will allow for the quantification of the effects of centered circumferential scratches on fluid film bearing load capacity. This knowledge will help the bearing and turbomachinery communities as they strive to better understand the effects of scratches and damage on fluid film bearing bearing performance.