2 Fluke Corporation Introduction to vibration
– Vibrationcan result when machine shafts are out of line.Angular misalignment occurs when the axes of (for example) a motor and pump are not paral-lel. When the axes are parallel but not exactlyaligned, the condition is known as parallelmisalignment. Misalignment may be causedduring assembly or develop over time, due tothermal expansion, components shifting orimproper reassembly after maintenance. Theresulting vibration may be radial or axial (inline with the axis of the machine) or both.
– As components such as ball or rollerbearings, drive belts or gears become worn,they may cause vibration. When a roller bear-ing race becomes pitted, for instance, thebearing rollers will cause a vibration eachtime they travel over the damaged area. A geartooth that is heavily chipped or worn, or a drivebelt that is breaking down, can also producevibration.
– Vibration that might other-wise go unnoticed may become obvious anddestructive if the component that is vibratinghas loose bearings or is loosely attached toits mounts. Such looseness may or may not becaused by the underlying vibration. Whateverits cause, looseness can allow any vibra-tion present to cause damage, such as furtherbearing wear, wear and fatigue in equipmentmounts and other components.
Effects of vibration
The effects of vibration can be severe.Unchecked machine vibration can acceler-ate rates of wear (i.e. reduce bearing life) anddamage equipment. Vibrating machinery cancreate noise, cause safety problems and lead todegradation in plant working conditions. Vibra-tion can cause machinery to consume excessivepower and may damage product quality.In the worst cases, vibration can damageequipment so severely as to knock it out of service and halt plant production. Yet there is a positive aspect to machinevibration. Measured and analyzed correctly,vibration can be used in a preventive main-tenance program as an indicator of machinecondition, and help guide the plant mainte-nance professional to take remedial actionbefore disaster strikes.
Characteristics of vibration
To understand how vibration manifests itself,consider a simple rotating machine like an elec-tric motor. The motor and shaft rotate aroundthe axis of the shaft, which is supported by abearing at each end.One key consideration in analyzing vibrationis the
of the vibrating force. In ourelectric motor, vibration can occur as a forceapplied in a radial direction (outward from theshaft) or in an axial direction (parallel to theshaft).An imbalance in the motor, for instance,would most likely cause a radial vibration asthe “heavy spot” in the motor rotates, creating acentrifugal force that tugs the motor outward asthe shaft rotates through 360 degrees. A shaftmisalignment could cause vibration in an axialdirection (back and forth along the shaft axis),due to misalignment in a shaft coupling device.Another key factor in vibration is
,or how much force or severity the vibrationhas. The farther out of balance our motor is, thegreater its amplitude of vibration. Other factors,such as speed of rotation, can also affect vibra-tion amplitude. As rotation rate goes up, theimbalance force increases signicantly.
refers to the oscillation rate of vibration, or how rapidly the machine tendsto move back and forth under the force of thecondition or conditions causing the vibration.Frequency is commonly expressed in cycles perminute or Hertz (CPM or Hz). One Hz equals onecycle per second or 60 cycles per minute.Though we called our example motor ‘simple,’even this machine can exhibit a complexvibration signature. As it operates it could bevibrating in multiple directions (radially andaxially), with several rates of amplitude andfrequency. Imbalance vibration, axial vibra-tion, vibration from deteriorating roller bearingsand more all could combine to create a complexvibration