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SUMMARY
In heavy industrial machines such as steam turbines, internal combustion engines and electric
generators, unbalanced rotating bodies could cause vibration, which in turn could cause
catastrophic failure. This chapter explains the importance of balancing rotating masses. It also
explains both static and dynamic balance, i.e. balancing of coplanar and noncoplanar masses.
1. INTRODUCTION
The balancing of rotating bodies is important to avoid vibrations. In heavy industrial
machines such as steam turbines internal combustion engines and electric generators,
vibration could cause catastrophic failure. Vibrations are noisy and uncomfortable and when
a car wheel is out of balance, the ride is quite unpleasant. In the case of a simple wheel,
balancing simply involves moving the centre of gravity to the centre of rotation but as we
shall see, for longer and more complex bodies, there is more to it. For a body to be
completely balanced it must have two things: static balance and dynamic balance.
Static Balance (Singleplane balance). This occurs when the resultant of the
centrifugal forces is equal to zero and the centre of gravity is on the axis of rotation.
Dynamic Balance (Twoplane balance). This occurs when there is no resulting
turning moment along the axis.
2. STATIC BALANCE
Despite its name, static balance does apply to things in motion. The unbalanced forces of
concern are due to the accelerations of masses in the system. The requirement for static
balance is simply that the sum of all forces on the moving system must be zero.
Another name for static balance is singleplane balance, which means that the masses which
are generating the inertia forces are in, or nearly in, the same plane. It is essentially a two
dimensional problem. Some examples of common devices which meet this criterion, and thus
can successfully be statically balanced, are: a single gear or pulley on a shaft, a bicycle or
motorcycle tire and wheel, a thin flywheel, an airplane propeller, an individual turbine blade
wheel (but not the entire turbine). The common denominator among these devices is that they
are all short in the axial direction compared to the radial direction, and thus can be considered
to exist in a single plane. An automobile tire and wheel is only marginally suited to static
balancing as it is reasonably thick in the axial direction compared to its diameter. Despite this
fact, auto tires are sometimes statically balanced. More often they are dynamically balanced.
Figure la shows a link in the shape of a "vee", which is part of a linkage. We want to
statically balance it. We can model this link dynamically as two point masses m
1
and m
2
concentrated at the local CGs of each "leg" of the link as shown in Figure lb.
These point masses each have a mass equal to that of the "leg" they replace and are supported
on massless rods at the position (R
1
or R
2
) of that leg's CG. We can solve for the required
amount and location of a third "balance mass" m
b
to be added to the system at some location
R
b
in order to satisfy the equilibrium.
Figure 1: Static Balancing
Assume that the system is rotating at some constant angular velocity ω. The accelerations of
the masses will then be strictly centripetal (toward the centre), and the inertia forces will be
centrifugal (away from the centre) as shown in Figure 1. Since the system is rotating, the
figure shows a "freezeframe" image of it. The position at which we "stop the action", for the
purpose of drawing the picture and doing the calculations, is both arbitrary and irrelevant to
the computation. We will set up a coordinate system with its origin at the centre of rotation
and resolve the inertial forces into components in that system. Writing the equilibrium
equation for this system we get:
m
1
R
1
æ
2
 m
2
R
2
æ
2
 m
b
R
b
æ
2
= u (1  o)
Note that the only forces acting on this system are the inertia forces. For balancing, it does
not matter what external forces may be acting on the system. External forces cannot be
balanced by making any changes to the system's internal geometry. Note that the ω
2
terms
cancel and equation (1a) could be rewritten as follows.
m
b
R
b
= m
1
R
1
 m
2
R
2
(1 b)
Breaking into x and y components:
(m
b
R
b
)
x
= (m
1
R
1
)
x
+ (m
2
R
2
)
x
]
(1  c)
(m
b
R
b
)
¡
= (m
1
R
1
)
¡
+ (m
2
R
2
)
¡
]
The terms on the right sides are known. Then one can solve for the magnitude and direction
of the product m
b
R
b
needed to balance the system.
0
b
= ton
1
_
(m
1
R
1
)
¡
+ (m
2
R
2
)
¡
(m
1
R
1
)
x
+ (m
2
R
2
)
x
_ (1 J)
m
b
R
b
= _((m
1
R
1
)
x
+ (m
2
R
2
)
x
]
2
+ (m
1
R
1
)
¡
+ (m
2
R
2
)
¡
]
2
) (1  c)
After the product m
b
R
b
is calculated from equation(1  c), there is infinity of solutions
available. We can either select a value for m
b
and solve for the necessary radius R
b
at which
it should be placed, or choose a desired radius and solve for the mass that should be placed
there.
Once a combination of m
b
and R
b
is chosen, it remains to design the physical counterweight.
The chosen radius R
b
is the distance from the pivot to the CG of whatever shape we create
for the counterweight mass. A possible shape for this counterweight is shown in Figure lc.
Its mass must be m
b
, distributed so as to place its CG at radius R
b
and at angle 0
b
.
Example 1 (Static Balance)
The system shown in Figure 1 has the following data:
m
1
= 1.2 kg R
1
= 1.1SS m at Ѳ
1
= 11S.4
o
m
2
= 1.8 kg R
2
= u.822 m at Ѳ
2
= 48.8
o
Find the massradius product and its angular location needed to statically balance the system.
Solution:
m

R

Ѳ

(m

R

)
x
= m

R

cux Ѳ

(m

R

)
y
= m

R

stnѲ

1.2 1.1SS 11S.4 ‐u.S41 1.2Su
1.8 u.822 48.8 u.97S 1.11S
(m
b
R
b
)
x
= (u.S41 + u.97S) = u.4S4
(m
b
R
b
)
¡
= (1.2Su + 1.11S) = 2.S6S
· 0
b
= ton
1
_
2.S6S
u.4S4
_ = 79.6
o
+ 18u
o
= 2S9.6
o
· m
b
R
b
= ¸(u.4S4)
2
+(2.S6S)
2
) = 2.4uS kg · m
This massradius product of 2.4uS kg · m can be obtained with a variety of shapes appended
to the assembly. Figure 1 shows a particular shape whose CG is at radius of 0.806 m at the
required angle of 2S9.6
o
. The mass required for this counterweight design is then:
· m
b
= _
2.4uS
u.8u6
_ = 2.981 kg
at a chosen Cu iauius of:
R
b
= u.8u6 m
3. DYNAMIC BALANCE
Dynamic balance is sometimes called twoplane balance. It requires that two criteria be met.
The sum of the forces must be zero (static balance) plus the sum of the moments must also be
zero.
F = u
(2)
H = u
These moments act in planes that include the axis of rotation of the assembly such as planes
XZ and YZ in Figure 2. The moment's vector direction, or axis, is perpendicular to the
assembly's axis of rotation.
Any rotating object or assembly which is relatively long in the axial direction compared to
the radial direction requires dynamic balancing for complete balance. It is possible for an
object to be statically balanced but not be dynamically balanced. Consider the assembly in
Figure 2. Two equal masses are at identical radii, 180
o
apart rotationally, but separated along
the shaft length. A summation of ma forces due to their rotation will be always zero.
However, in the side view, their inertia forces form a couple which rotates with the masses
about the shaft. This rocking couple causes a moment on the ground plane, alternately lifting
and dropping the left and right ends of the shaft.
Some examples of devices which require dynamic balancing are: rollers, crankshafts,
camshafts, axles, clusters of multiple gears, motor rotors, turbines, and propeller shafts. The
common denominator among these devices is that their mass may be unevenly distributed
both rotationally around their axis and also longitudinally along their axis.
Figure 2: Balanced Forces – Unbalanced Moments [1]
To correct dynamic imbalance requires either adding or removing the right amount of mass at
the proper angular locations in two correction planes separated by some distance along the
shaft. This will create the necessary counter forces to statically balance the system and also
provide a counter couple to cancel the unbalanced moment. When an automobile tire and
wheel is dynamically balanced, the two correction planes are the inner and outer edges of the
wheel rim. Correction weights are added at the proper locations in each of these correction
planes based on a measurement of the dynamic forces generated by the unbalanced, spinning
wheel.
It is always good practice to first statically balance all individual components that go into an
assembly, if possible. This will reduce the amount of dynamic imbalance that must be
corrected in the final assembly and also reduce the bending moment on the shaft.
Consider the system of three lumped masses arranged around and along the shaft in Figure 3.
Assume that, for some reason, they cannot be individually statically balanced within their
own planes. We then create two correction planes labelled A and B. In this design example,
the unbalanced masses m1, m2, m3 and their radii R1, R2, R3 are known along their angular
locations t1, t2 and t3. We want to dynamically balance the system. A threedimensional
coordinate system is applied with the axis of rotation in the Z direction. Note that the system
has again been stopped in an arbitrary freezeframe position. Angular acceleration is assumed
to be zero. The summation of forces is:
m
1
R
1
æ
2
 m
2
R
2
æ
2
 m
3
R
3
æ
2
 m
A
R
A
æ
2
 m
B
R
B
æ
2
= u (S o)
Dividing out the æ
2
and rearranging we get:
m
A
R
A
+ m
B
R
B
= m
1
R
1
m
2
R
2
 m
3
R
3
(S  b)
Breaking into x and y components:
(m
A
R
A
)
x
+ (m
B
R
B
)
x
= (m
1
R
1
)
x
+ (m
2
R
2
)
x
+ (m
3
R
3
)
x
]
(S  c)
(m
A
R
A
)
¡
+ (m
B
R
B
)
¡
= (m
1
R
1
)
¡
+ (m
2
R
2
)
¡
+ (m
3
R
3
)
¡
]
Equations (3c) have four unknowns in the form of mR products at plane A and mR products
at plane B. To solve, we need the sum of the moments which we can take about a point in one
of the correction planes such as point O. The moment arm (zdistance) of each force
measured from plane A are labelled l
1
, l
2
, l
3
, l
B
in the figure; thus
Figure 3: Two‐plane Dynamic Balancing [1]
(m
B
R
B
æ
2
)l
B
= (m
1
R
1
æ
2
)l
1
 (m
2
R
2
æ
2
)l
2
 (m
3
R
3
æ
2
)l
3
(S  J)
Dividing out the æ
2
, breaking into x and y components and rearranging:
The moment in the XZ plane (i.e., about the Y axis) is:
(m
B
R
B
)
x
=
(m
1
R
1
)
x
l
1
 (m
2
R
2
)
x
l
2
 (m
3
R
3
)
x
l
3
l
B
(S  c)
(m
B
R
B
)
¡
=
(m
1
R
1
)
¡
l
1
 (m
2
R
2
)
¡
l
2
 (m
3
R
3
)
¡
l
3
l
B
(S  ¡)
These can be solved for the mR products in x and y directions for correction plane B which
can then be substituted into equation (3c) to find the values needed in plane A. Equations (1
d) and (1e) can then be applied to each correction plane to find the angles at which the
balance masses must be placed and the mR product needed in each plane. The physical
counterweights can then be designed consistent with the constraints outlined in the section on
static balance. Note that the radii R
A
and R
B
do not have to be the same value.
Example 2 (Dynamic Balance)
The system shown in Figure 3 has the following data:
m
1
= 1.2 kg R
1
= 1.1SS m at Ѳ
1
= 11S.4
o
m
2
= 1.8 kg R
2
= u.822 m at Ѳ
2
= 48.8
o
m
3
= 2.4 kg R
3
= 1.u4u m at Ѳ
3
= 2S1.4
o
The zdistances in metres from the plane A are:
l
1
= u.8S4 m l
2
= 1.7u1 m l
3
= 2.S96 m l
B
= S.u97 m
Find the massradius products and their angular locations needed to dynamically balance the
system using the correction planes A and B.
Solution:
m

R



Ѳ

(m

R

)
x
=
m

R

cux Ѳ

(m

R

)
y
=
m

R

stnѲ

(m

R

)
x


(m

R

)
y


1.2 1.135 0.854 11S.4
o
0.541 1.250 0.462 1.067
1.8 0.822 1.701 48.8
o
0.975 1.113 1.660 1.894
2.4 1.040 2.396 2S1.4
o
0.796 2.366 1.910 5.668
(m
B
R
B
)
x
=
(u.462 + 1.66u  1.91u)
S.u97
= u.2S
(m
B
R
B
)
¡
=
(u.462 + 1.66u  1.91)
S.u97
= u.874
· 0
B
= ton
1
_
u.874
u.2S
_ = 7S.26
o
· m
B
R
B
= ¸(u.2S)
2
+(u.874)
2
) = u.9u4 kg · m
Solving equations (3c) for forces in x and y directions:
(m
A
R
A
)
x
+ (m
B
R
B
)
x
= (m
1
R
1
)
x
+ (m
2
R
2
)
x
+(m
3
R
3
)
x
]
(m
A
R
A
)
x
= (m
1
R
1
)
x
+ (m
2
R
2
)
x
+ (m
3
R
3
)
x
+ (m
B
R
B
)
x
]
(m
A
R
A
)
x
= u.S41 + u.97S  u.796 + u.2S] = u.1S2
(m
A
R
A
)
¡
+(m
B
R
B
)
¡
= (m
1
R
1
)
¡
+ (m
2
R
2
)
¡
+ (m
3
R
3
)
¡
]
(m
A
R
A
)
¡
= (m
1
R
1
)
¡
+ (m
2
R
2
)
¡
+ (m
3
R
3
)
¡
+ (m
B
R
B
)
¡
]
(m
A
R
A
)
¡
= 1.2Su + 1.11S  2.S66 + u.874] = u.871
· 0
A
= ton
1
_
u.871
u.1S2
_ = 81.S8
o
· m
A
R
A
= ¸(u.1S2)
2
+ (u.871)
2
) = u.881 kg · m
These massradius products can be obtained with a variety of shapes appended to the
assembly in planes A and B. Many shapes are possible. As long as they provide the required
massradius products at the required angles in each correction plane, the system will
dynamically balanced.
4. EXERCISES
4.1 A shaft carries four masses 200 kg, 300 kg, 240 kg and 260 kg respectively. The
corresponding radii of rotation are 20 cm, 15 cm, 25 cm and 30 cm respectively and
the angles between successive masses are 45
o
, 75
o
and 135
o
. Find the position and
magnitude of the balance mass required, if its radius of rotation is 20 cm [2].
Anx. (m
h
= 11û kg, 0
h
= 2û1
u
)
4.2 A shaft carries four masses A, B, C and D placed in parallel planes perpendicular to
the shaft axis and in this order along the shaft. The masses of B and C are 36 kg and
25 kg respectively and both are assumed to be concentrated at a radius of 15 cm,
while the masses A and D are both at radius of 20 cm. The angle between the radii of
B and C is 100
o
and that between B and A is 190
o
, both angles are being measured in
the same sense. The planes containing A and B are 25 cm apart and those containing
B and C are 50 cm apart. If the shaft is to be in complete dynamic balance, determine
[2]:
a) The masses of A and D;
b) The distance between the planes containing C and D, and
c) The angular position of the mass D.
Anx. (m
A
= 19. 5 kg, m
D
= 1ó. 5 kg 0
D
= 252
u
, x = 13. 2 cm)
5. CONCLUSION
Balancing of rotating masses in heavy industrial machines is very essential to reduce the
unpleasant and dangerous vibration. Two balancing techniques have been introduced in this
chapter, namely, static and dynamic balance. Two illustrative examples have been
demonstrated in order to understand the two different techniques. Two exercises are left to
the students to train themselves on solving balancing problems with final answers given to
guide them.
6. REFERENCES
[1] Norton, R.L. (1999): “DESIGN OF MACHINERY”, 2
nd
Edition, McGrawHill, ISBN: 0
070483957, 1999.
[2] Khurmi, R.S., Gupta, J.K. (1976): “THEORY OF MACHINES”, Eurasia Publishing
House Ltd, 1976.
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