Date

6-2016

Degree Name

BS in Mechanical Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering Department

Advisor(s)

Joseph Mello, Julia Wu

Abstract

Active Magnetic Bearings (AMB) are contact free bearings that support loads by magnetic levitation. This is accomplished by generating magnetic forces with electric current through a series of electromagnets surrounding a suspended rotor mass. Along with a set of electromagnets, an AMB assembly also consists of power amplifiers for each electromagnet, a controller, and proximity sensors. The proximity sensors provide rotor position feedback to the control system, which modulates power to the amplifiers [4]. Magnetic bearings are used in several industrial applications today, including but not limited to compressors, turbines, pumps, motors, and generators. Advantages of their utility include very low to no friction, longer life than bearings with lubrication (no wear), high operation speeds, environmental friendliness (oil and contamination free), and the ability to accommodate irregularities in the mass distribution automatically. Disadvantages include complexity, little to no damping, difficulty to control, and high cost. Magnetic bearings are finding increasing use as the technology progresses and components becomes less expensive.

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