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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.