Study on Nonlinear Friction-Induced Vibration in Water-Lubricated Rubber Stern Tube Bearings

Engao Peng*, 1, Zhenglin Liu1, Xincong Zhou1, Yuzhong Tian2, Meiyun Zhao1
1 School of Energy and Power Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430063, China
2 Wuhan Rule and Regulation Research Institute, China Classification Society, Wuhan 430022, China

© 2012 Peng et al

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Energy and Power Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430063, China; Tel/Fax: +86-027-50241480; E-mail:


Nonlinear friction-induced vibration deteriorated the performance of marine rubber stern tube bearings (RSTB) in a wide variety of propulsion system. In the paper, this study was performed on the level of both practical and experimental bifurcation analysis. Hereto, an experimental set-up of SSB-100 marine stern tube bearing test machine was applied to carry on this project. The synthesis of these practical and experimental results confirmed that nonlinear frictioninduced vibration was due to a subtle balance of negative damping at lower speeds or viscous friction at higher speeds. Furthermore, it was shown how these essential friction characteristics depended on physical conditions such as temperature, normal forces and the material properties in the frictional contact.

Keywords: Water lubrication, stern tube bearings, friction-induced vibration, squeal, noise.