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i
Rotating Machinery: Rotating Machinery: Rotating Machinery: Rotating Machinery: Rotating Machinery:
Practical Solutions to Practical Solutions to Practical Solutions to Practical Solutions to Practical Solutions to
Unbalance and Misalignment Unbalance and Misalignment Unbalance and Misalignment Unbalance and Misalignment Unbalance and Misalignment
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Rotating Machinery: Rotating Machinery:
Rotating Machinery: Rotating Machinery: Rotating Machinery:
Practical Solutions to Practical Solutions to
Practical Solutions to Practical Solutions to Practical Solutions to
Unbalance and Misalignment Unbalance and Misalignment
Unbalance and Misalignment Unbalance and Misalignment Unbalance and Misalignment
by Robert B McMillan PE CEM by Robert B McMillan PE CEM by Robert B McMillan PE CEM by Robert B McMillan PE CEM by Robert B McMillan PE CEM
THE FAIRMONT PRESS, INC. MARCEL DEKKER, INC.
Lilburn, Georgia New York and Basel
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
McMillan, Robert B., 1944-
Rotating machinery: practical solutions to unbalance and misalign-
ment/by Robert B. McMillan.
p. cm.
I. Includes index.
ISBN 0-88173-466-7 (print) ISBN 0-88173-467-5 (electronic)
1. Balancing of machinery. 2. Machinery--Vibration. I. Title.
TJ177.M42 2004
621.8’11--dc22
2003060258
Rotating machinery: practical solutions to unbalance and misalignment/
McMillan, Robert B.
©2004 by The Fairmont Press, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this
publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any
means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or
any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in
writing from the publisher.
Fairmont Press, Inc.
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http://www.fairmontpress.com
Distributed by Marcel Dekker, Inc.
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While every effort is made to provide dependable information, the publisher, authors,
and editors cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.
iv
Table of Contents Table of Contents
Table of Contents Table of Contents Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1—INTRODUCTION ................................................................... 1
Frequency .................................................................................................. 3
Displacement ............................................................................................ 3
Velocity ...................................................................................................... 4
Acceleration .............................................................................................. 4
Phase .......................................................................................................... 5
Hooke’s Law ............................................................................................. 8
Vibration as a Diagnostic Tool ............................................................ 12
Identifying Critical Equipment ........................................................... 15
Recording Vibration Data .................................................................... 18
CHAPTER 2—DEVELOPING THE VIBRATION EQUATIONS ............ 21
List of Symbols ...................................................................................... 21
The Sine Function .................................................................................. 22
The Cosine Function ............................................................................. 24
Deriving Vibration Equations ............................................................. 27
CHAPTER 3—AND BEAT FREQUENCIES ............................................... 33
Resonance ................................................................................................ 33
Beat Frequencies .................................................................................... 40
CHAPTER 4—VIBRATION DUE TO UNBALANCE .............................. 43
Introduction ............................................................................................ 43
Types of Unbalance ............................................................................... 44
Couple Unbalance ................................................................................. 46
Sources of Unbalance ............................................................................ 50
CHAPTER 5—FIELD BALANCING ........................................................... 55
Introduction ............................................................................................ 55
Single Plane Balancing ......................................................................... 56
Law of Sine ............................................................................................. 61
Law of Cosine ........................................................................................ 62
Review ..................................................................................................... 63
Trial Weights and Force ....................................................................... 64
Cautions ................................................................................................... 66
v
Equivalent Weights ............................................................................... 67
Two Plane Balancing ............................................................................. 71
Which Method ....................................................................................... 85
Overhung Rotors ................................................................................... 86
Notes on Balancing ............................................................................... 87
CHAPTER 6—A SINGLE PLANE BALANCING TECHNIQUE ........... 89
Introduction ............................................................................................ 89
Graphical Solution ................................................................................. 89
CHAPTER 7—MISALIGNMENT OF MACHINE SHAFTS ................... 97
Introduction ............................................................................................ 97
Types of Misalignment ......................................................................... 98
Misalignment in Belt Drives ............................................................. 100
Phase Angle Relations ........................................................................ 103
Note on Electric Motors ..................................................................... 106
Summary ............................................................................................... 107
CHAPTER 8—ADVANCED MACHINE ALIGNMENT ........................ 109
Introduction .......................................................................................... 109
Overview ............................................................................................... 110
Electric Motors ..................................................................................... 111
Shims ...................................................................................................... 111
Soft Feet ................................................................................................. 112
Torquing ................................................................................................ 113
Couplings .............................................................................................. 116
The Alignment Fixture and Bar Sag ................................................ 117
Basic Machine Measurements ........................................................... 118
About Indicator Readings .................................................................. 120
Taking Indicator Readings ................................................................. 125
Vertical Alignment ............................................................................... 126
The Graphical Method ....................................................................... 127
Calculator Method ............................................................................... 130
Moving the Machine in the Horizontal Plane ............................... 132
Thermal Growth and Hot Alignments ............................................ 133
Equipment with Driveshafts ............................................................. 142
U-joint Couplings ................................................................................ 143
Spool Pieces .......................................................................................... 144
Bore Readings ...................................................................................... 145
vi
Vertical Pumps ..................................................................................... 145
The Catenary ........................................................................................ 148
50 Steps for Precision Alignment ..................................................... 154
CHAPTER 9—REVERSE INDICATOR ALIGNMENT ........................... 157
Introduction .......................................................................................... 157
Bar Sag ................................................................................................... 158
Machine Measurements ...................................................................... 158
Vertical Alignment ............................................................................... 159
Graphical Solution ............................................................................... 160
Calculator Method ............................................................................... 163
Horizontal Alignment ......................................................................... 164
Thermal Growth .................................................................................. 165
Bore Readings ...................................................................................... 170
APPENDIX A—TORQUE SPECIFICATIONS .......................................... 171
APPENDIX B—TRIGONOMETRIC TABLES .......................................... 173
APPENDIX C—CONVERSION FACTORS .............................................. 177
English to Metric Conversion Factors ............................................. 177
Fractions to Decimals ......................................................................... 178
APPENDIX D—WEIGHT LOSS DUE TO DRILLING .......................... 179
APPENDIX E—PROPERTIES OF STEEL SHAFTS ................................ 183
APPENDIX F—ALIGNMENT FORMS ..................................................... 185
PROCEDURES ............................................................................................... 191
800.000 SAFETY NOTES.............................................................................. 196
800.101 FAN INSPECTIONS ....................................................................... 200
Fan Deck Inspections .......................................................................... 200
Fan Stack Inspections ......................................................................... 201
Mechanical Equipment Support Inspections ................................. 201
Fan Inspections .................................................................................... 202
Gearbox Inspections ............................................................................ 202
vii
Driveshaft & Coupling Inspections ................................................. 203
Motor Inspections ................................................................................ 204
800.102 SOFT FEET INSPECTIONS .......................................................... 205
Dial Indicator Method ........................................................................ 206
Feeler Gauge Method ......................................................................... 206
800.103 BLADE TIP CLEARANCE............................................................ 208
800.104 FAN ALIGNMENT ......................................................................... 211
800.104.1 ALIGNMENT OF U-JOINT COUPLINGS .............................. 215
800.105 BLADE PITCH ADJUSTMENT .................................................... 217
800.106 FAN BALANCING ......................................................................... 220
Index ................................................................................................................ 225
viii
Preface Preface
Preface Preface Preface
I I
I I
I
t is the intent of this book to present both a theoretical and the practical
understanding of unbalance and misalignment in rotating equipment.
These two conditions account for the vast majority of problems with
rotating equipment encountered in the “real world.” Numerous ex-
amples and solutions are inserted to assist in understanding the various
concepts.
Chapter 1 discusses vibration to provide a fundamental under-
standing of its characteristics, which are used to determine the opera-
tional integrity of rotating machinery. A section deals with determining
the criticality of equipment to provide a set of guidelines as to which
equipment needs to be more closely monitored. Finally, the chapter ends
with a discussion of how to take and record field vibration measure-
ments.
Chapter 2 details the relationships between the various vibration
characteristics to gain an understanding of the forces generated within
operating machinery when conditions of unbalance and misalignment
are present.
Chapter 3 deals with resonance and beat frequencies, and details
their sources and cures.
Chapter 4 discusses the various forms of unbalance that can be
present in rotating machinery. Many of these sources can be corrected
during inspections and when performing sound maintenance practices.
Chapter 5 presents both the single plane and dual plane methods
of balancing rotating equipment. A discussion of which method to em-
ploy is also presented. Also presented are methods of determining the
correct balancing weights and how to resolve them to locations where
they can be attached.
Chapter 6 deals with the three circle method of balancing slow
speed fans, where phase angles are difficult to obtain.
Chapter 7 discusses the various types of misalignment and how to
detect them through vibration analysis.
Chapter 8 outlines an advanced rim and face method of precision
alignment. Both graphical and calculator solutions are presented. Ther-
ix
mal growth, spool pieces, equipment trains, vertical pump equipment
with driveshafts and the catenary effect of long shafts are presented.
Chapter 9 presents the reverse indicator method of alignment with
both graphical and calculator methods. Again, examples are used to for-
tify the learning experience.
The appendix section has several useful tables and charts to assist
the reader in solutions to other problems. In addition, a complete set of
procedures for fan maintenance is included as guidelines for developing
maintenance procedures for other equipment.
I sincerely hope the readers of this book will find it useful in solv-
ing the everyday problems within their facilities. Your comments, sug-
gestions, and criticism will be highly regarded.
Robert B. McMillan, PE, CEM
El Paso, Texas
June, 2003
x
Introduction to Vibrations

Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter
Introduction to Vibrations Introduction to Vibrations
Introduction to Vibrations Introduction to Vibrations Introduction to Vibrations
V V
V V
V
ibration is the back and forth or repetitive motion of an
object from its point of rest. Simple vibration can be illus-
trated with a mass suspended by a constant force spring,
as shown in Figure 1-1.
When a force is applied to the mass, it stretches the spring
and moves the weight to the lower limit. When the force is re-
moved, the stored energy in the spring causes the weight to move
upward through the position of rest to its upper limit. Here, the
mass stops and reverses direction traveling back through the po-
sition of rest to the lower limit. In a friction-free system the mass
would continue this motion indefinitely.
In real situations, there is always some form of friction or
dampening which causes the mass to not quite reach the upper
and lower limits, and gradually lowers the motion until the mass
returns to the position of rest.
However, if the force were applied again, the mass would
again move to its lower limit. By successively adding and remov-
ing the force, the mass would continue to vibrate. Although this is
a very simplified example, all machine parts exhibit the same
basic characteristics.
Force
M
Upper limit
Rest position
Lower limit
Figure 1-1. Simple Vibratory Motion
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
It is important to note that an external force is required to
keep the mass in motion. All real systems are damped, that is they
will gradually come to their rest position after several cycles of
motion, unless acted upon by an external force. When this vibra-
tory motion is viewed with respect to time, it is seen as a sine
wave, as illustrated in Figure 1-2. Note that continued motion
would only repeat the sine wave as shown.
Upper limit
Rest position
Lower limit
M
Time
Figure 1-2. Generation of a Sine Wave
Some of the characteristics of this vibratory motion are
PERIOD, FREQUENCY, DISPLACEMENT, VELOCITY, AC-
CELERATION, AMPLITUDE and PHASE. The sign wave
shown in Figure 1-2 represents one complete cycle, that is the
weight moved from its rest position to its upper limit back
through its rest position to its lower limit and then returned to
its rest position. Continued vibration of this spring mass sys-
tem would only repeat the characteristics shown in this single
cycle.
PERIOD
The period of the vibration, represented by the letter T, is the
time required to complete one oscillation. That is the total time
required for the mass to move from the rest position to the upper
limit, back through the rest position to the lower limit, and return
to the rest position.
Introduction to Vibrations
FREQUENCY
1/T
in either cycles per second or cycles per minute.
In dealing with machine vibrations, it is usually desirable to
vibration.
P
e
a
k
-
t
o
-
p
e
a
k
d
i
s
p
l
a
c
e
m
e
n
t

(period)
Peak velocity
Peak acceleration
D
i
s
t
a
n
c
e

Frequency is the number of complete oscillations completed
in a unit time, or simply expressed as . Generally it is measured
express frequency in terms of cycles per minute, since we measure
the rotational speed of machinery in revolutions per minute. This
allows examination of the vibration frequency in terms of mul-
tiples of the rotational speed. The two times rotational speed is
known as the second harmonic, and the three times rotational
speed is the third harmonic.
Rotational speed is also known as the fundamental fre-
quency. Figure 1-3 displays some of the characteristics of a simple
Frequency
Time
Figure 1-3. Characteristics of Simple Vibratory Motion
DISPLACEMENT
Referring to Figure 1-3, the displacement of the mass can be
seen. The peak-to-peak distance is measured from the upper limit
to the lower limit, and is usually measured in mils or thousandths
of an inch (.001 inch). In the metric system, the displacement is
measured in microns or millionths of a meter (.000001 meter or
.001 millimeter).
NOTE: The Appendix section contains some conversion fac-
tors for the metric and English systems of measurement.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
VELOCITY
The velocity of a vibrating object is continually changing. At
the upper and lower limits, the object stops and reverses its direc-
tion of travel, thus its velocity at these two points is zero.
While passing through the neutral or position of rest, the
velocity is at its maximum. Since the velocity is continually chang-
ing with respect to time, the peak or maximum velocity is always
measured and commonly expressed in inches-per-second peak.
In the metric system, vibration velocity is measured in meters
per second peak. When expressing the vibration characteristic in
terms of velocity, both the displacement and frequency are consid-
ered. Remember velocity is inches-per-second, and thus the dis-
placement [inches] and the frequency [times per second] are
considered.
ACCELERATION
Again referring to Figure 1-3, the peak or maximum accelera-
tion is shown to be at both the upper and lower limits of the mass
travel. Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity with respect to
time. It can also be expressed as the rate of change in distance with
respect to time, with respect to time. That is it is the change in
displacement with respect to time squared. Normally, vibration
acceleration is measured in terms of G’s or number of times the
normal force due to gravity. Gravitational force has been standard-
ized as 32.1739 feet per second per second or 386.087 inches per
second per second. In the metric system, the standard for gravity
is 980.665 centimeters per second per second. Once again, accel-
eration is measured as G’s peak.
Since the vibrating object must reverse course at the peak
displacements, this is where the maximum acceleration occurs.
Like velocity, acceleration is constantly changing, and the peak
acceleration is usually measured.
The importance of measuring the vibration in terms of accel-
eration is best understood by examining Newton’s first law of
motion:
Introduction to Vibrations
F = MA (1.1)
Where:
M = Mass in pounds (1 pound Mass = 32.1739 Pounds)
A = Acceleration (feet per second per second)
F = Pounds of Force
Note that the force of an object at rest is WG [its weight W
times the acceleration of gravity G]. Since the standard accelera-
tion of gravity is 32.1739 feet per second per second, mass is sim-
ply an object’s weight times the acceleration of gravity.
Thus by measuring vibration in terms of acceleration, the
force imparted by the vibration is also considered. It is this force
that is important in determining the potential hazard to the ma-
chine and its components while undergoing vibration.
PHASE
Phase is the position of a vibrating object with respect to
another object at a given point in time. In the simple example
shown in Figure 1-4, two weights are vibrating 180 degrees out of
phase with each other.
1 Cycle
(360°)
180°
B
A
B
A
Figure 1-4. Phase Relationship 180° Out of Phase
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Here, the phase angle is expressed in degrees, where there
are 360 degrees in one cycle. Although both weights are vibrating
in this example, it is possible to express a phase angle of a single
vibrating weight with respect to a fixed object. Using the upper
limit of motion as a reference point, the phase angle can be ex-
pressed in degrees from a fixed reference point. In Figure 1-4,
weight A has a phase angle of zero degrees and weight B has a
phase angle of 180 degrees.
It should also be noted that both vibrating weights have the
same frequency, and thus will remain 180 degrees out of phase as
long as they both are in motion. As will be seen later, this is not
always the case. When the two vibrating weights have different
frequencies, they will come in and out of phase with one another.
This will result in what is known as a BEAT frequency. Generally,
beat frequencies are minimal unless the two sources are within 20
degrees of each other. The beat frequency is the frequency of the
two vibrating sources coming into and out of phase with one
another.
In Figure 1-5, the two weights are vibrating 90 degrees out of
phase with one another. In Figure 1-5, the two weights have the
same frequency and will remain 90 degrees out of phase as long
as they continue to vibrate. In Figure 1-6, the same two weights
are shown vibrating with different frequencies. Note the resulting
vibration when the two amplitudes are added to one another. Also
1 Cycle
(360°)
B
A
B
A
90°
Figure 1-5. Phase Relationship 90° Out of Phase
Introduction to Vibrations
note that this vibration will produce a beat frequency.
These characteristics of vibration are useful in determining
the source of the vibration.
Normally, velocity is the preferred measurement of vibration
for machine condition monitoring, because it considers both the
magnitude and the frequency of the vibration. This is important in
metals that can fail from fatigue. Fatigue failures are a function of
the amount of stress applied, and the number of times it is ap-
plied.
Bending a coat hanger until it breaks is an example of a low
cycle fatigue failure. In this case, a large stress was applied over
a relatively low number of cycles. In most fatigue failures, the
stress applied is considerably less; however, the number of cycles
may exceed hundreds of millions. Consider an electric motor op-
erating at 3,600 rpm. In one year, it rotates 1,893,456,000 times. It
becomes obvious that a small stress applied that many times could
lead to a failure.
Displacement measurements can be important, especially in
low frequency vibrations on machines that have brittle compo-
nents. That is, the stress that is applied is sufficient to snap the
component. Many machines have cast iron frames or cases that are
relatively brittle and are subject to failure from a single large
stress.
Acceleration measurements are also important in that they
B
A
A + B
B
A
Figure 1-6. Two Sources with Different Frequencies
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
directly measure force. Excessive force can lead to improper lubri-
cation in journal bearings, and result in failure. The dynamic force
created by the vibration of a rotating member can directly cause
bearing failure. Generally a machine can withstand up to eight
times its designed static load before bearing failure occurs. How-
ever, overloads as little as 10% can cause damage over an ex-
tended period of time. Although this seems insignificant, it can be
shown that small unbalances can easily create sufficient dynamic
forces to overload the bearings.
HOOKE’S LAW
Referring to Figure 1-7, a metal bar is
stretched a distance dL, by applying a weight
W.
Graphing the amount of stretch versus
the amount of applied weight produces a
stress-strain curve as shown in Figure 1-8. In
the elastic zone, if the weight is doubled, the
stretch is also doubled. When the weight is
removed, the bar returns to its original
length.
Hooke’s Law states that the amount of
stretch, or elongation, is proportional to the
applied force.
Stated as an equation:
Figure 1-7. Bar
being Stretched
with a Weight
F = (constant)(dL) (1.2)
However, if the force applied is too large, the metal bar will
reach its yield point, and when the force is removed, the bar will
have a permanent elongation. The bar was stretched beyond its
elastic limit.
Figure 1-9 illustrates the permanent offset caused by apply-
ing a force beyond a material’s elastic limit. Note the yield point
Introduction to Vibrations
Figure 1-8. A typical
Figure 1-9. Stretching be-
Stress-Strain Curve.
yond the Elastic Limit
is where the material changes from elastic to plastic. As the force
is continually increased, the cross-sectional area of the material is
reduced and thus the curve begins to reverse. Eventually, the force
per unit area is too great and the material fails.
Stress is defined as the force per unit area or:
Stress = F/A (1.3)
Strain is defined as the elongation divided by the original
length or:
Strain = dL/L
o
(1.4)
Figure 1-10. A Material being Stressed until Failure
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
For a simple mass spring system that vibrates within the elas-
tic limits of the spring, Hooke’s Law applies and is expressed as:
F = –kx (1.5)
Where:
k = the spring constant
x = the distance from the rest position
The minus sign in this equation indicates that the force of the
spring is acting opposite to the direction in which the spring is
stretched.
If the spring were stretched from x = 0 to x = x
0
work is done
which is equal to the average force times the distance moved. The
average force is half the maximum force and the distance is x
0
.
Therefore, the energy in the spring is:
PE = (1/2k x
0
)(x
0
) = 1/2k x
0
2
(1.6)
The sum of the potential energy [PE] and the kinetic energy
[KE] must remain constant and equal to the maximum potential
energy, 1/2k x
0
2
. Kinetic energy is the energy due to motion and
is expressed as 1/2 mv
2
. Thus expressed in equation form:
PE + KE = 1/2k x
0
2
(1.7)
Substituting:
1/2k x
2
+ 1/2 mv
2
= 1/2k x
0
2
(1.8)
Or:
mv
2
= k(x
0
2
- x
2
) (1.9)
Now substituting from Equation (1.1) into Equation (1.5):
–kx = ma (1.10)
Or:
a = –(k/m)× (1.11)
Introduction to Vibrations
Equations 1.9 and 1.11 are common forms for describing
simple harmonic motion. This is best illustrated by an example.
Example 1.1
A spring is stretched 1 foot with a force of 2 pounds. If a 6-
pound weight is displaced 4 feet from the position of rest, (a) what
is the maximum velocity, (b) what is the maximum acceleration,
and (c) what is the velocity and acceleration when the distance is
2 feet?
F
M
–x
o
o
x +x
o
Figure 1-11. Mass Spring System for Example 1.1
Step 1
First, the spring constant must be determined. Using Hooke’s
Law,
F = –kx or –2 lbs. = (–k)(1)ft. Therefore k = 2 lbs./ft.
The maximum potential energy is 1/2 k x
0
2
, or
1/2k x
0
2
= 1/2(2 lbs./ft.)(16 ft.
2
) = 16 ft.-lbs.
Step 2
Since the highest velocity occurs when × = 0, refer to Figure
1-3, using Equation (1.9) and substituting the provided data from
the example yields:
6lbs
v
2
max = 2 lbs./ft. 16 ft
2
32.2ft/sec .
Note: Mass is the weight divided by the acceleration of gravity
(32.2 ft/sec.
2
). In this example, the mass is 6/32.2 or 0.1863 lbm.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
(a) V max = 13.1 ft./sec.
The maximum acceleration occurs when x = x
0
, using Equa-
tion 1.11:
(b) a max = (2/0.1863)(4) = 42.9 ft./sec.
2
When the displacement equals 2 feet, using Equation 1.9
(c) V
2
= k(x
0
2
- x
2
)/m = (2)(16 – 4)/(0.1863)
Therefore V = 11.35 ft./sec.
Using Equation 1.11
(d) a = (k/m) × = (2/0.1863)(2) = 21.47 ft./sec.
2
VIBRATION AS A DIAGNOSTIC TOOL
In the following chapters, there will be a more detailed look
at vibration as a diagnostic tool for determining unbalance and
misalignment in rotating machinery. In addition, beat frequencies
and natural or harmonic frequencies will be discussed in detail.
The mode shape for objects vibrating in their first, second, and
third harmonic frequencies will also be presented. A great deal of
emphasis is placed on determining what is taking place even if
you do not have access to a vibration analyzer.
The characteristic of a machine’s vibration(s) can be used to
identify specific problems. There are numerous causes of vibration
in machines, but about 90% of all problems are due to unbalance
or misalignment. Some of the other sources of vibration are:
• Mechanical looseness • Bad drive belts or chains
• Bad bearings (anti-friction type) • Hydraulic forces
• Bent shafts • Electromagnetic forces
• Aerodynamic forces • Resonance
• Worn, damaged or eccentric gears • Rubbing
Introduction to Vibrations
The characteristics of vibration due to unbalance and mis-
alignment are presented in the following chapters. These include
the frequency and the plane in which the vibration is present.
These simple measurements can be used to determine the condi-
tions of unbalance and misalignment.
In general, the vibration will exist in the radial direction, axial
direction, or both. The radial direction is usually broken up into
the vertical and horizontal planes to better describe the character-
istics of the vibration.
Figure 1-12 illustrates the two basic directions of vibration of
a machine shaft. Axial vibration occurs along the axis of the shaft,
while radial vibration acts outwardly from the center of the shaft.
It should be noted that the radial vibration may not be in the same
direction at opposite ends of the shaft. One end may be moving
vertically upward while the opposite end may be moving horizon-
tally to the left at the same moment in time. This is known as the
phase angle relation and will be useful in determining the cause
of the vibration.
Radial

Axial



Figure 1-12. Direction of Vibration
Phase angle relations as well as the direction of vibration are
discussed in the chapters on unbalance and misalignment, to as-
sist in identifying the source of the vibration.
Figure 1-13 shows the two directions of vibration with the
radial vibration broken down into the vertical and horizontal
planes.
Although a vibration analyzer is required to identify phase
angle relations and to perform field or shop balancing of machine
parts, many causes of vibration can be determined through in-
spections and proper assembly techniques.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Figure 1-13. Direction of Vibratory Motion
The first step in the analysis process should be the recording
of all machine information and drawing a sketch of the machine.
In figure 1-14, the basic data for a simple fan are recorded. It
is important to know as many facts about a machine as possible.
In this case, there are eight fan blades, which at 1,725 rpm would
exhibit a first order aerodynamic problem at the blade pass fre-
quency of 8 × 1,725 or 13,800 cycles per minute (cpm).
In analyzing the machine above, the frequency of 1,725 cpm
D
25 Ph
1,725 rpm
8

F
a
n

b
l
a
d
e
s
C
B
A
Figure 1-14. A Basic Sketch of a Fan to be Analyzed
Introduction to Vibrations
(1 × rpm) will be important in determining both conditions of
unbalance and misalignment. Two and three times operating
speed should also be recorded. Note that a vibration analyzer with
a filter is required to isolate these frequencies.
A filter out reading should always be recorded, to assure the
filter in readings capture all the frequencies that sum to the filter
out reading. In addition, the filter out reading is used to determine
the severity of the vibration.
Prior to providing another example, the criticality of equip-
ment needs to be discussed. There are certain pieces of equipment
within a facility that demand more attention than others.
The amount of effort spent on any given piece of equipment
will be directly dependent upon its criticality factor. Although
each facility will need to build criteria of their own, the following
illustrates how to categorize equipment.
IDENTIFYING CRITICAL EQUIPMENT
When surveying a facility to determine the extent of a predic-
tive maintenance program to be implemented on an on-going
basis, one important factor is determining the criticality of equip-
ment. The prioritization of equipment will assure the proper focus
on critical items and further assure that maintenance monies are
wisely spent.
To evaluate each piece of equipment within the facility, the
following chart can be used. Assign a value to each category based
on the specific requirements of the individual company. Add the
points scored by each piece of equipment and list them in de-
scending order. You have now established a criticality list.
It is important that some base line be established as a refer-
ence point. That is, all equipment should be surveyed and their
basic maintenance condition established. This provides the overall
maintenance condition of the facility, and can assist in preparing
a maintenance budget.
During the preliminary maintenance audit, mechanical and
electrical condition is noted as well as performance data. As an
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
example, centrifugal pumps should have a block off test run to
determine the actual head produced. The voltage and amperes
should be measured and the actual horsepower consumed calcu-
lated. These data should be plotted on the pump’s performance
curve and a record maintained.
A comprehensive listing of all equipment should be as-
sembled, and any missing data should be requested from the
manufacturer. Further, this will assist in determining what spare
parts need to be carried in inventory, and what parts may be in-
terchangeable.
EQUIPMENT IDENTIFICATION
————————————————————————————————
No. Category Value Yes/No
————————————————————————————————
1 Hazardous Service 5.00
2 Critical to Operations 3.50
3 Chain Reactive 2.00
4 Expensive to Repair 1.50
5 One of a Kind 2.00
6 Long, Tedious Repair 1.10
7 Hard to find Parts 1.10
————————————————————————————————
Total Points
————————————————————————————————
The above form is filled out for each piece of equipment and
then they are ranked by points. The equipment with the most
points is the most critical and deserves the most attention.
The above categories are further defined below:
1. Hazardous Service
This category of equipment can be a result of high tempera-
ture, high pressure, high velocity or the specific material
being handled. Caustic, poisonous, corrosive, and flammable
materials should be considered and assigned an appropriate
value.
Introduction to Vibrations
2. Critical to Operation
This category of equipment includes machines within the
process that disrupt normal production. The cost for down
time should be considered when assigning a value to this
group of equipment. In general, this equipment has no
backup or spare.
3. Chain Reactive
This category of equipment causes other machines or equip-
ment to fail when it fails. As an example, if an oil pump
supplying oil to the bearings of a large press were to fail, it
could potentially cause failure of the press as well.
4. Expensive to Repair
This category of equipment covers machines that may be
difficult to find parts for, parts are expensive, requires out-
side labor, machining, special tools, etc.
5. One of a Kind (Exotic)
This category of equipment covers machines that are difficult
to impossible to replace. This can be because of limited appli-
cation, older equipment, foreign manufacture, or custom de-
sign.
6. Long Tedious Repair
This category of equipment covers machines that require
specialized labor and tools. The repair of this type of equip-
ment may require contract labor.
7. Hard to find Parts
This category of equipment covers machines whose parts are
not off-the-shelf items. Some of these parts may take weeks to
obtain.
The following illustrates a form filled in for an acid pump:
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
NUMBER 2 ACID INJECTION PUMP
————————————————————————————————
No. Category Value Yes/No
————————————————————————————————
1 Hazardous Service 5.00 Y
2 Critical to Operations 3.50 Y
3 Chain Reactive 2.00 N
4 Expensive to Repair 1.50 Y
5 One of a Kind 2.00 N
6 Long, Tedious Repair 1.10 N
7 Hard to find Parts 1.10 Y
————————————————————————————————
Total Points 11.10
————————————————————————————————
This pump would score an 11.10 out of a possible 16.2 and
should be considered as a critical piece of equipment. Analysis of
this pump should be performed on a minimum of a 30-day basis,
with the results trended and reviewed by maintenance supervi-
sors. Consideration should be given to provide all possible predic-
tive techniques for this piece of equipment.
RECORDING VIBRATION DATA
When a piece of equipment is analyzed, the data should be
recorded and kept in a file for analysis and future review. Figure
1-15 illustrates a simple form for recording vibration data.
In Figure 1-15, the four basic points to measure vibration are
labeled A through D. The area for recording data has three sec-
tions; A—axial, H—horizontal, and V—vertical. Readings should
be taken and recorded for all the directions at the four identified
points.
In addition, there are locations for both filter in and filter out.
The filter in readings should be taken at multiples of the operating
speed. In the event the majority of the vibration is not located, the
entire spectrum should be scanned to determine the frequency of
the vibration.
I
n
t
r
o
d
u
c
t
i
o
n

t
o

V
i
b
r
a
t
i
o
n
s

Figure 1-15. Form for Recording Vibration Data
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Examples of analyzing vibration readings are presented in
the chapters on unbalance and misalignment.
It is the primary intent of this book to allow technicians to
perform simple field corrections and inspections to correct the
majority of problems encountered. By feeling a vibrating part
rotating at 1,750 rpm, using a screwdriver, the difference between
1 × rpm and several times rpm vibrations can easily be deter-
mined.
The 1 × rpm is felt as a vibration, where the higher frequen-
cies feel like a tingling sensation. By placing the screwdriver on
different parts and in different directions, the shape and direction
of vibration can be determined.
Most often, a machine or a component will exhibit vibration
in several directions and may be vibrating at several different fre-
quencies simultaneously. It is important to understand the charac-
teristics of these vibrations in order to identify the root cause.
Various problems will exhibit different characteristics that will aid
in evaluating the cause. These characteristics are discussed in the
following chapters.
These simple techniques will be used to determine the cause
and possible corrective actions required. There is no substitute for
experience, and the more machines felt, the more confident the
technician.
In Chapter 2, additional equations are presented to determine
the forces caused by vibrating machine members.
Developing the Vibration Equations

Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter
Developing the Developing the
Developing the Developing the Developing the
Vibration Equations Vibration Equations
Vibration Equations Vibration Equations Vibration Equations
LIST OF SYMBOLS
————————————————————————————————
Symbol Subject Units
————————————————————————————————
A Acceleration Inches per second
2
Maximum acceleration Inches per second
2
A
MAX
D Peak-to-peak displacement Mils
dx/dt The derivative of displacement with respect to time
dx
2
/dy
2
The second derivative of displacement with respect to time
f Frequency Hz
F Frequency Cycles per minute
G Acceleration of gravity Inches per second
2
π Pi 3.14159
t Time Seconds
V Vertical velocity Inches per second
Maximum velocity Inches per second V
MAX
ω Angle displaced Degrees
X Vertical displacement Mils
X Maximum displacement Mils
o
————————————————————————————————
In order to describe the characteristics of vibration, it is nec-
essary to understand the basic trigonometric functions of sine and
cosine. Since the vibratory motion repeats itself with respect to
time, these functions are useful in describing the displacement,
velocity, and acceleration associated with this type of motion.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
THE SINE FUNCTION
To begin, we will construct a unit circle, that is a circle with
a radius of 1 unit. It makes no difference what units are used—
feet, inches, meters, miles etc.—because all functional results will
be described as ratios of whichever unit is chosen. Figure 2-1
depicts a unit circle that is laid out from the three o’clock position,
counter clockwise, and is so labeled.
Figure 2-1. Laying Out a Unit Circle
To the right of the circle, three straight lines are drawn, one
at zero, one a plus one (one radius), and the other at minus one
radius. Also, along these lines are laid off 360 degrees, represent-
ing the number of degrees in the unit circle. In Figure 2-1, the Y
direction is vertical, or up and down the page.
The X direction is laid off horizontally, or back and forth
across the page. The X values will thus represent the number of
degrees in the circle, while the Y values will represent the vertical
distance that the end of the line representing the radius R travels
from zero. Also note that if the radius were drawn from the center
to the 12 o’clock position, the Y value would be plus one [+1], and
if the radius were drawn from the center to the 6 o’clock position,
the Y value would be minus one [–1].
By closely observing the unit circle in Figure 2-1, it can be
seen if the degrees are increased from zero to 360, the end of the
Developing the Vibration Equations
radius line will start at zero, increase to plus one, decrease to zero,
continue to decrease to a minus one, and finally increase back to
zero at 360 degrees. Note that 0 degrees and 360 degrees are the
same point [3 o’clock].
This is the trigonometric sine function. The sine of any angle
is defined as the Y value divided by the radius R or [Y/R]. In this
special case where R =1, the sine of the angle is equal to the Y
displacement. Note that the sine is zero for both angles 0 and 180,
while the sine of angle 90 is plus one, and the sine of angle 270 is
minus one.
In mathematical calculations, the sine of an angle is written
as Sin(a), where a is the angle expressed in degrees or radians.
Since this book uses degrees, all angles and their trigonometric
functions are presented in degrees.
DEGREES OR RADIANS
There are 2π radians in a circle, and therefore one radian is
equal to 180° degrees.
Radians = Degrees × pi/180 (2.1)
Or:
Degrees = Radians × 180/pi (2.2)
Thus the angle 27 degrees expressed in radians would be:
27 degrees = 27 × pi/180 radians, or .4712388980 radians.
When using calculators to obtain the sine or cosine of an
angle, be sure to note whether the calculator calculates the func-
tions in degrees or radians. If the sine function of 27 degrees was
taken but the calculator was in radians, the answer would be .9564
instead of the correct answer of .4540. When 27 degrees is ex-
pressed in radians, it is .4712389. Calculating the sine of that num-
ber would yield the correct answer, namely .4540.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
As the vertical distance for each degree is measured and plot-
ted against the angle, a complete sine wave is generated. Figure 2-
2 depicts a completed plot of the sine function for a revolution.
That is starting at 3:00 o’clock (zero degrees) and proceeding
counter clockwise back to the 3:00 o’clock position.
Figure 2-2. The Development of the Sine Function
In general, the sine of the angle describes the elevation of the
end of the radius for each degree of rotation.
THE COSINE FUNCTION
The second trigonometric function to be defined is the cosine.
Just as the sine function was laid out using a unit circle, so will the
cosine be defined. The cosine of an angle is defined as the radius
R divided by the X value. Note that the cosine function is zero at
90 and 270 degrees, plus one at 0 degrees, and minus one at 180
degrees.
The complete circle plot of the cosine function is illustrated in
Figure 2-3. Note that the value of X is plotted in the vertical direc-
tion. This was done so that the function could be plotted against
degrees. The cosine function is abbreviated in mathematical for-
mulas as cos (a), which is the cosine of angle a, again expressed in
degrees.
Developing the Vibration Equations
Figure 2-3. Developing the Cosine Function
R
X
α
Y

For the angle α
X = R Cos α
Y = R Sin α
Figure 2-4. Sine and Cosine Functions
Example of the Sine and Cosine Functions
Now that the first two basic trigonometric functions have
been defined, it is useful to examine a practical use for these func-
tions.
Example 2.1
If a 20-foot ladder were leaned against a building so that its
base was 10 feet from the building, how far up the building would
the ladder reach?
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Referring to Figure 2-5 the length of the ladder is the radius,
or 20 feet, and the X distance is 10 feet. Since the cosine of an angle
is defined as X/R, it follows that:
Cos a = X/R (2.3)
In this example:
Cos a = 10/20 = .5
20 Foot
ladder
R
?
10’
Figure 2-5. Using the Sine and Cosine Functions
Using the trigonometric table in Appendix C, the angle that
has a cosine equal to .5000 is 60 degrees. Next look up the sin of
60 degrees, since the sine of an angle is defined as Y/R. The sine
of 60 degrees is found to be .866025.
Sin (a) = Y/R (2.4)
For this example:
Sin(60) = Y/R = .866025
By rearranging the equation,
Y = .866025 × 20 or Y = 17.325 feet.
Developing the Vibration Equations
DERIVING VIBRATION EQUATIONS
Referring to the Figure 2-6, the vertical displacement X at any
time t can be expressed as:
X = Xo Sin ωt (2.5)
Where:
Sin = the sine of the angle ω at time t
ω = 2πf (2.6)
f = 1/t [frequency in cycles per second]
Note: Cycles per second will be expressed in Hertz (Hz)
X
max
occurs @ Sin ωt) = 1; Sin ωt =1 occurs at, π/2, 3π/2, 5π/2, 7π/
2… (2n–1) π/2
Figure 2-6. Basic Sine Wave
The velocity at any time t is expressed by:
V = dx/dt (2.7)
And:
V = X
o
ωCos (ωt) (2.8)
V
max
occurs @ Cos (ωt) = 1; Cos ωt =1 occurs at, π, 2 π, 3 π,
4 π…nπ
Where:
V
max
= Maximum Velocity, See Figure 2-7.
Cos = cosine of the angle ω @ time t
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Figure 2-7. Maximum Velocity and Maximum Acceleration in a Sine
Wave
If the capital letter F stands for the frequency in cycles per minute,
then:
F = f * 60 (2.8)
and:
f = F/60 (2.9)
Letting the capital letter D stand for the peak-to-peak displace-
ment in mils, then:
D = 2 × X
o
(2.10)
and:
X
o
= D/2 [D in mils] (2.11)
X
o
= (.001 D)/2 [D in inches] (2.12)
It now follows that the relation between the maximum veloc-
ity and the peak-to-peak displacement can be expressed by the
following equations:
= X
o
ω V
max
V =
.001*D 2°F
2
×
60
(inches per second) (2.13)
Developing the Vibration Equations
V =
D*°F
(2.14)
60,000
D=
60,000
(2.15)
°F
Acceleration is the second derivative of displacement with
respect to time, which is expressed as:
A = dx
2
/dy
2
= X ω
2
Sin (ωt) (2.16)
o
A
max
occurs @ Sin (ω t) = 1; Sin (ωt) = 1 @ π/2, 3π/2, 5π/2,…
(2n–1) π/2
Letting the capital letter “G” stand for acceleration in terms
of G’s, then:
G = A/[32.2 * 12] (inches per second per second) (2.17)
G = A/386.4 (2.18)
G = [X
o
ω
2
]/386.4 (2.19)
X
o
= D/2 = [.001 * D]/2 (2.20)
ω
2
= [2*π*f]
2
(2.21)
Substituting from Equation (2.8)
ω
2
= [(2πF/60)]
2
(2.21)
Substituting from Equations (2.20) & (2.21)
2
2 * °F
.001 * D
× G = /386.4 (2.22)
2
60
2
G = .014190252 * DF
2
/1,000,000 (2.23)
G = .014190252 * D * [F/1000]
2
(2.24)
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
D = [G/.014190252] * [1000/F]
2
(2.25)
D = [70.47090965 * G * [1000/F]
2
(2.26)
Now using the above relations to build the relation of accel-
eration to velocity:
V = X ω (2.27)
o
And;
A = X ω
2
(2.28)
o
And;
G = A/386.4 (2.29)
Thus:
G = X ω2/386.4 (2.30)
o
G = X
o
ω* ω/386.4 (2.31)
And substituting from Equation (2.27):
G = V ω/386.4 (2.32)
G = V*(2πf)/386.4 (2.30)
And:
G = 2πFV/(60 * 386.4) (2.31)
Rearranging:
G= FVπ/11,592 (2.32)
Or:
G = FV/3,689.848201 (2.33)
V = 3,689.848201 * G/F (2.34)
The use of these equations will transform the three forms of
vibration characteristics to one another.
Example 2.2
A shaft has a peak-to-peak displacement reading of 3.4 mils
@ 36.5 Hz. What is the velocity and what is the acceleration?
Developing the Vibration Equations
Using Equation 2.14:
f = 36.5 and F = 36.5 × 60
V = [πDF]/60,000 = [3.14159 × 3.5 × 36.5 × 60]/60000
V = .401 inches per second
Using Equation 2.24
G = .014190252 * D * [F/1000]
2
= .014190252 × 3.5 × [36.5 × 60/1000]
2
G = .2382
Using Equation (2.18)
A = 386.4 * G = 92.04 feet per second per second.
If the shaft weighed 23.6 pounds, it would have a mass of:
M = W/g = 23.6/32.2 = .7329
F = MA = .7329 * 92.04 = 67.46 pounds.
Thus the force generated by this vibration is almost three
times the weight of the shaft. Using the vibration severity table at
the end of Chapter 3, a velocity reading of .401 inches per second
rates as rough, and some action should be taken.
Example 2.3
A centrifugal pump operating at 3,450 rpm shows a filter in
vibration of .114 inches per second at operating speed. What is the
peak-to-peak displacement? If the impeller and shaft weighs 40
pounds, what is the force produced?
Using Equation (2.15)
D = 60000 × .114/(3.14159 × 3450) = .63 mils peak-to-peak
The mass of the rotating element is 40/32.2 = 1.24 pounds mass.
Using Equation (2.33)
G = 3450 × .114/3689.8484201 = .1066
The force generated is:
F = 386.4 × G = 368.4 × .1066 = 41.19 pounds force.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Thus the force generated by this vibration is almost three
times the weight of the shaft. Using the vibration severity table at
the end of Chapter 3, a velocity reading of .401 inches per second
rates as rough, and some action should be taken.
Example 2.3:
A centrifugal pump operating at 3,450 rpm shows a filter
in vibration of .114 inches per second at operating speed. What is
the peak-to-peak displacement? If the impeller and shaft weigh 40
pounds, what is the force produced?
Using Equation 2.15
D = 60000 × . 114/(3.14159 × 3450) = .63 mils peak-to-peak
The mass of the rotating element is 40/32.2 = 1.24 pounds
mass.
Using Equation 2.33
G = 3450 x . 114/3689.8484201 = .1066
F = 386.4 × G = 368.4 × . 1066 = 41.19 pounds force.
Resonance and Beat Frequencies

Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter
Resonance and Resonance and
Resonance and Resonance and Resonance and
Beat Frequencies Beat Frequencies
Beat Frequencies Beat Frequencies Beat Frequencies
RESONANCE
T T
T T
T
o have a better grip on operating equipment, it is necessary
to understand resonance and beat frequencies. All ma-
chines and machine components act like a spring-mass sys-
tem. They vibrate due to some external force acting upon them.
The vibration can either be free vibration or forced vibration. Fig-
ure 3-1 illustrates free vibration.
Figure 3-1. Free Vibration
Free vibration is simply an object vibrating at its natural or
resonant frequency. In the figure above, the mass was displaced to
the top of its motion and released. It vibrates at its natural fre-
quency. Since no additional external force is added, the amplitude
of the vibration decreases gradually with time.
One characteristic of a vibration occurring at a natural fre-
quency is that very little force is required to maintain the vibra-
tion, as compared to the force required to maintain a vibration at
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
a frequency other than the natural frequency.
If the applied force is exactly in phase with the natural fre-
quency, the amplitude will increase dramatically. This is true even
if the force is relatively small.
Figure 3-2. Vibrating at Natural Frequency
Two factors influence the natural or resonant frequency of an
object, its mass and its stiffness. For a given object, adding mass
lowers its natural frequency, and increasing the stiffness of an
object increases its natural frequency.
Example 3.1
A 20-pound object vibrates at its natural frequency of 25 Hz.
It is decided to add 5 pounds to the object to change its natural
frequency. What will be the resulting new natural frequency?
The object originally has a mass of 20/32.2 or .62111 pounds.
Its new mass will be 225/32.2 or .77639 pounds. The original fre-
quency can be described by:
f = 1/(2π(m/k)
.5
(3.1)
Rearranging to solve for the constant k:
k = m (2πf)
2
(3.2)
Since the original frequency was 25 Hz and the original mass
was .62111 pounds, using Equation (3.2) yields k = 15,325 lb./ft.
Now, using the constant k and the new mass, and substituting into
Resonance and Beat Frequencies
Equation (3.1) yields f =22.36 Hz. This is only a 10.6% change in
frequency for a 40% increase in mass.
In most cases, adding mass to a component is not practicable
and the component must be stiffened.
Example 3.2
In the system described in Example 3.1, the stiffness of the
object is increased by welding a bracket in place. The bracket
weighs 1 pound and increases the stiffness to 28,750 lb./ft. What
is the resulting new natural frequency?
The new mass is 21/32.2 or .6522 pounds. Using the new
mass and the new constant k, and substituting into Equation (3.1)
yields f = 33.42 Hz..
This change in the stiffness resulted in a 33.68% change in the
natural frequency of the object. This frequency change would be
adequate to keep the object from being excited by an external force
at 25 Hz.
Of course, the best way to solve the situation is to remove the
source of the original vibration. Generally, the vibrating source is
operating at a fixed speed and a significant reduction in its driving
force cannot be accomplished. Vibration isolators or additional
dampening can sometimes be added.
Most vibrations in machine elements are of the damped type
as illustrated in Figure 3-3. Although most parts do not have damp-
ers or shock absorbers attached to them, contact with other compo-
nents of a machine has the effect of dampening the vibration.
Figure 3-3. Damped Vibration
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
When a machine is in operation, there are normally many
external forces that act upon the machine components. These re-
petitive forces are responsible for the vibration to appear as
though it were free and not dampened. If one or more of these
forces occurs at or near the natural frequency of one of the com-
ponents, it will vibrate with an increased amplitude.
Resonant frequency in shafts or rotors is often referred to as
a critical speed. Criticals are often experienced as a machine comes
up to operating speed. This is often true for high-speed machines,
which may pass through one or more criticals before reaching
operating speed.
The first critical is simply the natural or resonant frequency
of the vibrating element. There are also multiples of this natural
frequency called the second harmonic, third harmonic, etc. These
are also referred to as the second critical and third critical, etc.
Figure 3-4 shows the wave shape of a component vibrating at
its natural frequency.
Figure 3-3. First Critical Vibration
Note the different shape of the wave for the simply sup-
ported component versus the cantilever or overhung component.
Even without a vibration analyzer, feeling along the length of a
component undergoing vibration at one of its critical frequencies,
resonance can be detected. For the simply supported component,
if the vibration is the highest at its midpoint, and decreases as
either end is approached, the component may be vibrating at its
natural frequency.
The cantilevered or overhung component will have its high-
Resonance and Beat Frequencies
est amplitude at its unsupported end. Simply marking the location
of the highest perceived amplitude on a component with a felt
marker can assist in determining the mode of the vibration.
If the frequency were to continue to increase above the natu-
ral or fundamental frequency, it would first decrease, and then
increase as it approaches the second harmonic of the component.
At the second harmonic, the component again vibrates freely
and the amplitude increases dramatically. The overall amplitude
of the second harmonic is not as great as the amplitude of the first
harmonic, but the frequency is twice as great.
Figure 3-5 depicts components undergoing second harmonic
vibration.
Figure 3-5. Second Harmonic Wave Forms
By examining Figure 3-5, it is easy to visualize what the third,
fourth, and fifth harmonic would look like.
Figure 3-6. Wave Length
Letting (λ) represent the length of the wave, a system in reso-
nance would have wavelengths of:
λ = 2L/n (3.3)
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Where:
L = length
n = 1,2,3,4…
The velocity of the wave can be expressed as:
v = fλ (3.4)
Since the speed of compression waves is related to density
and the elasticity of a material, the velocity may also be expressed
as:
v = (E/p)
.5
(3.5)
Where:
E = Modulus of elasticity
p = Mass density
This equation states the velocity is equal to the square root of the
modulus of elasticity divided by the mass density.
In Figure 3-7, a simply supported pipe is vibrating at its
natural frequency. Note that at the two supports, the amplitude is
zero. These are referred to as node points. In this case, the center
has the greatest amplitude and is referred to as an anti-node.
Figure 3-7. Pipe Vibrating at its Natural Frequency
Example 3.3
The pipe in Figure 3-7 was struck near its center and was
found to vibrate at a frequency of 2 Hz. The distance between
Resonance and Beat Frequencies
supports was measured to be 12 feet. What is the velocity of the
wave? What frequencies should be avoided so that the pipe will
not resonate at its natural frequency or one of the first three har-
monics?
Step 1. Since the pipe is vibrating at its first harmonic, n = 1, and
substituting into Equation (3.3), λ = 24 feet. From Equation (3.4),
the velocity is found to be v = (24)(2) = 48 feet per second.
Step 2. By rearranging Equation (3.4) f = v/λ. The second har-
monic λ
2
= L, and then the third harmonic λ
3
= 2L/3. Therefore,
the second harmonic frequency is 96 Hz. and the third harmonic
frequency is 144 Hz. Thus the three frequencies to be avoided are
48 ±10%, 96 ±10%, and 144 ±10% Hz.
If a frequency near these existed, consideration should be
given to relocate the distance between pipe supports. Obviously,
the distances 6 feet and 4 feet should be avoided.
Example 3.4
A steel shaft is simply supported with 4 feet between sup-
ports. The shaft is struck at its end and allowed to vibrate freely.
What should be the recorded frequency?
Step 1. Since steel weighs 480 pounds per cubic foot, the mass of
a cubic foot is (480/32.2 × 12))/1728 or .00071888 pounds mass per
cubic inch. The modulus of elasticity for steel is approximately 30
× 10
6
. Using Equation (3-5) the velocity is found to be 17,023.5
inches per second.
Step 2. Since the shaft is vibrating at its first critical or natural
frequency, λ = 2L. Since L equals 4 feet, λ = 8 feet or 96 inches.
Rearranging Equation (3-4), f = v/λ or the frequency anticipated
is approximately 177.3 Hz.
For a machine, or machine component, vibrating at resonance
or one of its harmonics, there are only three basic methods that
can be employed to correct the vibration.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
1. First, the external force that is exciting the component or
machine can be eliminated or its frequency changed. This
may not be practical in many cases since most equipment
must operate at some given speed.
2. Second, by adding or removing mass. Usually, mass changes
must be significant to alter the natural frequency sufficiently
to eliminate the vibration.
3. This leaves altering the stiffness of the component. Care must
be exercised when altering the stiffness of a component or
machine, so that its strength is not also effected. Altering the
location of support members will alter the effective length
and alter the resonant frequency. This is usually a good
choice for piping systems or other long, slender members.
Use caution so as not to place a support at a location which
will create other harmonics—i.e., 1/2, 1/3, etc.
It is always best to remove or at least decrease the source or
driving force of one or more of the vibrations.
The easiest way to measure the natural frequency of an object
is to first remove all sources of excitation. Next, the object is struck
and allowed to vibrate freely. Using a vibration instrument, the
frequency is recorded. The largest amplitude measured with a fil-
ter in reading will be the natural frequency.
BEAT FREQUENCIES
Beat frequencies are vibration frequencies caused by two or
more vibrating sources that are vibrating at slightly different fre-
quencies. The resultant beat frequency is the difference in the two
sources.
Example 3.5
A machine is found to produce a vibration at a frequency of
1,275 Hz. A second machine nearby produces a vibration at 1,280
Hz. What is the resulting beat frequency?
Resonance and Beat Frequencies
Step 1. If at time zero, both machines were in phase, that is they
were both at the maximum amplitude, the resulting beat would be
at its maximum. After 1/10
th
of a second, the first machine would
have completed 127.5 cycles and be at a minimum, while the sec-
ond machine would have completed 128 cycles and be at a maxi-
mum. If the two amplitudes were equal, the vibrations would be
180 degrees out of phase and thus cancel each other. At 1/5
th
of
a second, the first machine would have completed 255 cycles and
the second machine 256 cycles. Both machines would now be at a
maximum and the amplitudes would add together.
It can be seen that at time 1/10
th
, 3/10
th
, 5/10
th
… will pro-
duce minimums while 2/10
th
, 4/10
th
, 6/10
th
… will produce mini-
mums. Thus the beat frequency is produced at 5 Hz. Note that this
is the difference in the two original frequencies.
A component that is vibrating close to its natural frequency
or one of its harmonics can exhibit beat frequencies as well. The
beat frequency is the result of the two amplitudes coming in and
out of phase with one another. When they are in phase, their
amplitudes are added together; when they are out of phase, they
subtract from one another.
The result is a beat frequency with an amplitude greater than
either contributing source, and a frequency that is comprised of
the multiple vibration amplitudes adding and subtracting from
one another. The frequency of the wave form depends on ampli-
tudes, frequency and phase angle of the contributing sources.
A simple beat frequency is shown in Figure 3-8, where two
vibrating sources of different frequencies, amplitudes, and phase
angles are contributing to the beat wave. Beat frequencies come
into and out of phase as the contributing waves add and subtract
from one another. Note that the composite wave is not a perfect
sine wave as are the contributing sources.
The actual frequency of a beat is the sum of two or more
vibrating sources adding and subtracting from one another as il-
lustrated in Figure 3-8. They can be eliminated by either removing
one or more of the sources of vibration, or changing the frequency
of one or more of the sources.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Figure 3-8. Beat Frequency
If a part vibrates within 10% of its natural frequency or one
of its harmonics, it may be subject to a beat frequency as well,
even though there appears to be no second vibrating source.
In general, beat frequencies can be easily detected since they
come in and out of phase, causing the vibration amplitude to in-
crease and then appear to go away. Beat frequencies can excite the
natural frequency of one another, or perhaps a third member will
go into resonance.
Careful analysis will assist in determining the best way to
eliminate problems with beat frequencies.
Vibration Due to Unbalance

Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter
Vibration Vibration
Vibration Vibration Vibration
Due to Unbalance Due to Unbalance
Due to Unbalance Due to Unbalance Due to Unbalance
INTRODUCTION
U U
U U
U
nbalance is the most common source of vibration in rotating
equipment. Vibration due to unbalance occurs at a fre-
quency of 1 × rpm of the unbalanced element, and its am-
plitude is proportional to the amount of unbalance. Normally, the
vibration signal is measured in both the vertical and horizontal
planes. With a simply supported rotating element, that is a bear-
ing at both ends of the shaft, the vibration due to unbalance will
be in the radial plane with very little vibration sent in the axial
direction. In the case of an over hung rotor, high axial vibrations
may occur, and the amplitude in the axial plane may equal those
measured radially. See Figure 4-9.
The force generated by unbalance can be expressed as:
F = 1.774 * (rpm/1000)
2
* in-oz. (4.1)
Where:
F = Force in pounds.
rpm = is the rpm of the unbalanced element.
in-oz. = inch ounces of unbalance.
NOTE: An inch-ounce of unbalance is simply the amount of un-
balance weight in ounces times the distance from the center of
rotation, expressed in inches. Thus an inch-ounce can be a one-
ounce weight at one inch from the center of rotation, or a tenth of
an ounce at ten inches from the rotational center.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Rotating elements tend to rotate about their center of gravity,
unless they are constrained. In a machine element, the center of
rotation and the center of gravity should be the same. When they
are not, vibration due to unbalance will result.
TYPES OF UNBALANCE
Unbalance can be of four basic types, static, couple, quasi-
static and dynamic. Static unbalance is shown in Figure 4-1.
STATIC UNBALANCE
Center of Rotation
Unbalance
Weight
Centerline of the Shaft
Figure 4-1. Static Unbalance
Static unbalance is defined as an unbalance where the center
of rotation is displaced parallel to the geometric center of the ro-
tating element. If the element were placed on knife-edges, it
would rotate until the heavy spot was on the bottom.
With a statically unbalanced element rotating, the amplitude
and phase of the vibration at both ends of the shaft would be the
same. This static unbalance can be easily corrected by adding or
removing the proper amount of weight as long as it is done in the
proper plane. Figures 4-2 and 4-3 show the proper way to balance
a pure static unbalance.
In Figure 4-2 a single weight equal to the unbalance is placed
exactly in the same plane as the unbalance and exactly 180 degrees
away. This brings the rotational center and the center of the shaft
in-line.
Vibration Due to Unbalance
CORRECTING STATIC UNBALANCE
Static Unbalance Weight
Acceptable
Correction Weight
Figure 4-2. Correcting Static Unbalance
In Figure 4-3, two equal weights that equal the weight of the
unbalance are placed equal distances from the unbalance and 180
degrees away. This also causes the rotational center to align with
the center of the shaft.
The correction used in Figure 4-4 results in another type of
unbalance, couple unbalance. Couple unbalance is defined as the
condition of unbalance where the element’s center of rotation
passes through the element’s geometric centerline at the element’s
center of gravity.
CORRECTING STATIC UNBALANCE
Static Unbalance
Acceptable
Correction Weights
Figure 4-3. Correcting Static Unbalance with Two Weights
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
CORRECTING STATIC UNBALANCE
Static Unbalance Weight
Unacceptable
Correction Weight
Figure 4-4. Creating a Couple Unbalance
Although the correction weight is equal to the unbalance and
is placed 180 degrees away, it is not in the same plane. The piece
is statically balanced, but when rotated the two weights act in
different planes causing couple unbalance.
Couple unbalance is illustrated in Figure 4-5. Note that even
though the shaft is statically balanced, the element would tend to
wobble about its center when the shaft is rotated. Both ends of the
shaft would vibrate with the same amplitude, but be 180 degrees
out of phase.
COUPLE UNBALANCE
FORCE
FORCE
Figure 4-5. Forces in Couple Unbalance
Vibration Due to Unbalance
Unlike static unbalance, couple unbalance cannot be detected
by placing the element on knife-edges. Thus a couple unbalance
can only be detected with the element rotating. The element is
essentially statically balanced. A couple is basically two equal
forces acting in opposite directions, and through two different
planes. Again, unlike static unbalance, couple unbalance cannot be
corrected in a single plane, but rather it requires corrections to be
made in two or more planes. In only a few cases will either pure
static or pure couple unbalance be detected in machinery. Most
often it is a combination of both. These combinations are classified
as dynamic and quasi-static unbalance. Figure 4-6 shows quasi-
static unbalance. Note that the quasi-static unbalance is made up
of a static unbalance and a Couple unbalance.
QUASI-STATIC UNBALANCE
Center of Rotation
Center of the Shaft
Figure 4-6. Quasi-Static Unbalance
Quasi-static unbalance is the condition of unbalance where
the center of rotation intersects the element’s geometric centerline,
but not at its center of gravity. Quasi-static unbalance can be de-
tected by the amplitudes of the vibration being very different at
each end of the shaft, and being out of phase by approximately
180 degrees. Once again, this type of unbalance must be corrected
in two or more planes.
The fourth type of unbalance is dynamic unbalance and is the
most common type encountered in machinery. Dynamic unbal-
ance is defined as unbalance where the axis of rotation does not
coincide or touch the element’s geometric centerline. Dynamic
unbalance is depicted in Figure 4-7.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
DYNAMIC UNBALANCE
Center of Rotation
Center of the Shaft
Figure 4-7. Dynamic Unbalance
Dynamic unbalance most often exhibits different amplitudes
of vibration at each end of the rotating element. In addition, most
often it will exhibit phase angles that are neither in phase nor
directly opposite from one another. This type of unbalance must
be corrected in two or more planes.
Many of the conditions that cause unbalance in rotating
equipment are the result of assembly in the field and/or mainte-
nance and repair practices. Most of these conditions can be
avoided, once they are understood. When a piece of equipment is
to be worked on, it pays to have a complete understanding of how
each part of the equipment was originally balanced, and in some
more critical applications, how it was assembled.
Example 4.1
Assume a centrifugal compressor wheel was balanced on a
dynamic balancing machine and was assembled with its keyway in
the 12 o’clock position. Later when it was reassembled in the field,
it was assembled with the keyway in the 6 o’clock position, causing
the wheel to be assembled five hundredths of a thousandth of an
inch from its true center (.00005"). The rotor weighed 20 pounds
(320 ounces) and was turned by a Solar Saturn Gas Turbine at
23,200 rpm. What force was generated due to unbalance?
Step 1. This assembly error would result in the center gravity of
the rotor being five hundredths of a thousandth of an inch
Vibration Due to Unbalance
(.00005") from its balanced position to its field assembly position.
Thus the inch-ounces of unbalance was 320 × .00005 = .016. Using
formula (4.1) yields F = 1.774 × (23200/1000)
2
× .016 = 15.2 pounds
of force. That is over 75% of its weight!
Although most of the equipment does not rotate at that high
an rpm, much of the more common electric motor driven equip-
ment does operate at 3,450 or 1,750 rpm.
Example 4.2
Steel weighs approximately 485 pounds per cubic foot or
about 4.49 ounces per cubic inch. If an electric motor had a 3-inch
shaft and rotated at 3,450 rpm, and had a 1/2" × 1/2" × 3" keyway
that was not filled with key material, how much force would be
generated?
3,450 RPM
3” Dia.
Missing Key
Material
Figure 4-8. Example of Missing Key Material
Step 1. The missing key material is .75 cubic inches which weighs
approximately 3.37 ounces. The center of mass for the key material
would be 1-1/4 inches from the motor centerline. Thus 4.21 inch-
ounces of unbalance would be present. Using the formula below
to determine the force,
F = 1.774 × (3450/1000)
2
× 4.21 = 88.89 pounds of force.
Although most machines’ bearings can withstand loads of up
to eight times the normal static load, for a short period, it can be
easily seen that the life of these parts will be greatly reduced.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
SOURCES OF UNBALANCE
Most electric motor manufacturers standardize on balancing
their rotating elements with the entire keyway filled with a half
key. That is the shaft is totally filled. Coupling manufacturers
practice the same procedures when balancing their couplings.
When assembling these two elements, an L-shaped or T-shaped
key must be used to maintain the original balance. Using the ex-
ample above and viewing Figure 4-8 will illustrate the problems
with not using the proper key during assembly.
As the person responsible for maintenance and repairs, it
should be your goal to assure all possible sources of unbalance are
inspected and corrected if necessary. The less vibration a machine
has, the less stress it will be subjected to, and the longer it will
survive. Equipment with a history of coupling, bearing, or seal
failures should be inspected for sources of unbalance.
Figure 4-9 shows some of the more common sources of un-
balance associated with coupling installation. Any of these condi-
tions can lead to premature failure of bearings, couplings, or seals.
Bolt too Long
Excess Key Material
Missing Key Material
Hub Loose on Shaft
Extra Washer
Missing Washer
Bolt in Backwards
Figure 4-9. Sources of Unbalance
As in all maintenance activities, cleanliness is of extreme im-
portance in maintaining the inherent balance of rotating machinery.
A small particle of dirt and subsequent component failure.
Vibration Due to Unbalance
Example 4.3
pounds, and is assembled onto an engine’s crankshaft with bolts
thick wedges between the flywheel and the crankshaft. The unit
this misalignment of the flywheel?
Step 1.
× 16 ×
× (300/1000)
2
× 138 = 139.8 pounds.
The above example illustrates that even low rpm machinery
the rpm the less the unbalance that can be tolerated.
12”
1
2


3
6


C
L
When performing maintenance activities, care should be
taken to clean all buildup of dirt and debris from rotating compo-
nents, such as fan blades. Uneven buildup will result in an unbal-
ance that will lead to early failure of bearings and seals.
A 6-foot diameter nodular iron flywheel weighs 8,634
in a 12-inch circle. During assembly, a piece of debris .001-inch
operates at 300 rpm. How much force is generated as a result of
A cross-sectional view of the flywheel is shown in Figure 4-10.
Figure 4-10. Cross-sectional View of the Flywheel
The weight of the flywheel is displaced .001" from the
center, thus the unbalance in inch-ounces is U = 8634 .001
= 138 inch-ounces. The unbalance force is F = 1.774
can have excessive forces due to unbalance. However, the higher
Vibration due to unbalance occurs at a frequency equal to the
QUASI-STATIC UNBALANCE
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
rotational speed [1 × rpm] of the rotating element, and has an
amplitude proportional to the amount of unbalance. The vibration
will be largest in the radial direction, and only a single-phase
mark will be present.
Equipment with overhung rotors may exhibit high axial vi-
brations due to unbalance. See Figure 4-11.
SIMPLY
SUPPORTED OVERHUNG
Figure 4-11. Types of Support for Rotating Elements
Example 4.4
An electric motor driven pump operates at 1,750 rpm and a
velocity reading taken on the inboard motor bearing was .106
inches per second. The motor’s rotor weighs 24 pounds. If the
vibration was due to a missing piece of key material in the cou-
pling, what was the unbalance force? If the keyway was 1/2" × 1/
2,” how long was the missing key if the motor shaft was 4 inches
in diameter?
Step 1. The velocity reading needs to be converted into accelera-
tion and then into the force. Using Equation (2.33), G = F*V/
3,689.848201. Since the vibration was due to unbalance, it was
occurring at 1 × rpm or at a frequency of 1,750 cycles per minute.
Thus, F = 1,750 cpm. Now, G = 1750 * .106/3689.848201 = .0527,
and A = 386.4 * G = 386.4 * .0527 = 19.42 feet per second per sec-
ond.
Step 2. The mass of the rotor is W/g = 24/32.2 = .745 pounds
mass. F = MA = .745* 19.42 = 14.47 pounds force. Now the force
Vibration Due to Unbalance
due to unbalance is expressed as F = 1.774 * (rpm/1000)
2
* in-oz.
Here, the inch-ounces of unbalance is to be determined, so rear-
ranging the equation, in.-oz. = F/1.774 * (rpm/1000) 2 in.-oz. =
14.47/(1750/1000)
2
= 4.72 inch-ounces of unbalance.
Step 3. The center of the missing key material would be at a ra-
dius of 1-3/4 inches, thus the missing material would weigh
16.54/1.75 or 2.7 ounces. Steel weighs approximately 4.49 ounces
per cubic inch, therefore the missing material would be 2.7/4.49 or
.6 cubic inches. Since the key is 1/2 × 1/2, the missing portion
would be 1/2 × 1/4 or 1/8 ounce per inch of length. The length
of the missing material is .6/.125 or 4.8 inches.
In the case of electric motors, measure the amplitude and
then turn off the power. If the vibration disappears immediately,
the problem is most likely electrical. However if the amplitude
decreases with the decrease in speed of the motor, check for bal-
ance and/or misalignment.
There are a number of published vibration severity charts
that give guidelines as to how much vibration is too much. One
major pitfall of using these guidelines is the relationship of the
weight of the rotating element to the total equipment mass and
stiffness.
A small rotating element in a massive machine that is well
anchored may not exhibit severe vibration when readings are
taken on the machine frame. Some vibration analyzer compa-
nies provide shaft riders which allow the vibration probe to be
placed against the rotating shaft to obtain a more accurate read-
ing.
Regardless of the method employed, it is obvious that the
smoother a part runs, the longer the life of the equipment. Many
conditions of unbalance are best left to shop balancing rather than
field corrections. However, there are many conditions of unbal-
ance that can be recognized and corrected during routine mainte-
nance. Cleanliness and attention to detail can avoid many of these
situations.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Table 4-1. Vibration Severity
————————————————————————————————
Classification Velocity (in/sec.)
————————————————————————————————
Very rough Above .628
Rough .314
Slightly rough .157
Fair .0785
Good .0392
Very good .0196
Smooth .0098
Very smooth .0049
Extremely smooth Below .0098
————————————————————————————————
Field Balancing

Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter
Field Balancing Field Balancing
Field Balancing Field Balancing Field Balancing
INTRODUCTION
U U
U U
U
nbalance is present to some extent in all rotating equip-
ment, and has been found to be the most common source
of vibration encountered. Field balancing of rotating equip-
equipment depends on identifying the type of unbalance and then
applying the correct balancing procedure. Single plane balancing
is only successful in conditions where the unbalance is pure static.
Other forms of unbalance will require two or more planes of cor-
rection.
Dual plane balancing will be required for the majority of
equipment. A method of dual plane balancing is discussed later in
the chapter.
Typical of the types of equipment that can be balanced by the
single plane method are fin-fans and cooling tower fans. For a part
to be successfully field balanced, two conditions must be met.
First, the rotating part must be out of balance, and second, the
required changes in weight must be able to be made to the rotat-
ing part.
The following single plane method of field balancing as-
sumes the use of a vibration analyzer that has a strobe light to
identify the phase angle. Another single plane balancing method
that only requires amplitude will be discussed later.
Balancing a piece of equipment with it mounted and operat-
ing in its normal position is called in-place or field balancing. For
much equipment, in-place balancing has many advantages over
shop balancing. These include less cost; elimination of possible
damage due to disassembly, transportation and reassembling; and
extensive down time. Some machines, due either to their high
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
speed or to the class of tolerable vibrations, will require precision
shop balancing.
Balancing in-place is a very straightforward process, and in-
volves following only a few simple rules. Unbalance is defined as
an unequal distribution of mass about a rotating center point.
Unbalance is further defined by International Organization of
Standards (IOS) as, “That condition which exists in a rotor when
vibratory force or motion is imparted to its bearings as a result of
centrifugal forces.” Unbalance will result in the vibration of the
rotating part and its supporting bearings and associated support
members.
Balancing is the process of identifying the amount and loca-
tion of a heavy spot on a rotating part, and then removing or
adding the correct amount of weight at the correct location to
cancel the centrifugal forces caused by the unbalance. The amount
of unbalance that exists is determined by the amplitude of vibra-
tion of the rotating part. The location of the unbalance is deter-
mined with the use of a strobe light to identify a phase location
with respect to any existing reference point on the rotating ele-
ment.
SINGLE PLANE BALANCING
The strobe light is configured to trigger on the vibration sig-
nal, at its peak. This point corresponds to the location of the heavy
spot at some time in the rotation cycle. The exact location of the
phase reference point is of no consequence in the beginning.
Next, a trial weight is attached to the rotating member, and
its location, amount and distance from the center of rotation are
noted. By adding the trial weight, the location of the resultant
heavy spot will be altered. Thus, the amplitude of the vibration
and its phase location will have been altered.
When a weight is added to a perfectly balanced rotating el-
ement, it will vibrate at a frequency equal to the rotating speed of
the element and have an amplitude proportional to the unbal-
Field Balancing
anced weight. A reference mark for phase will appear to stand still
at some location under a strobe light triggered by the vibration. To
further illustrate this point, if a 4 ounce weight were added to a
balanced rotor, and caused a 3.5 mils vibration at 60 degrees,
doubling the weight to 8 ounces would increase the amplitude of
the vibration to 7 mils, but the phase angle would remain at 60
degrees.
Further, if the 4-ounce weight had been moved 60 degrees
counterclockwise, the amplitude would have remained the same,
but the phase reference angle would have shifted 60 degrees
clockwise to 120 degrees.
The three fundamentals of balancing are:
1. The amount of vibration is proportional to the amount of
unbalance.
2. The reference mark (phase angle) shifts in a direction oppo-
site to a shift in the heavy spot.
3. The angle the phase mark shifts is equal in degrees to the
angle the heavy spot was shifted.
The unbalance in a rotating element at the start of a balancing
process is referred to as the original unbalance, and thus the asso-
ciated phase angle and amplitude readings are called the original
readings. Polar graph paper is very useful in laying out balancing
problems. However, by using a protractor and a convenient scale
the same results can be achieved.
As an example, a rotor has a vibration amplitude of 3.5 mils
at 60 degrees, and its original readings are shown in Figure 5-1.
Note that the scale chosen is 1/2 mil per division, but any conve-
nient scale can be used.
The radial lines that radiate from the center represent the
angular position, and the concentric circles are spaced 1/2 mil
apart. This makes it convenient to visualize the problem.
When a trial weight is added to the rotor, one of three things
must happen:
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
3.5 Mils @ 60°
0
30
60
90
120
150
180
210
240
270
300
330
1/2 Mil per Division
Figure 5-1. Graphical Solution with Original Vibration Plotted
1. The trial weight could be added exactly on the heavy spot. If
so, the vibration amplitude would increase, but the reference
mark would remain in the same location. To balance the ro-
tor, the trial weight would simply be moved 180 degrees and
adjusted in mass until the rotor was balanced.
2. The trial weight could be placed in exactly the correct posi-
tion, 180 degrees away from the heavy spot. In this case, if
the trial weight were smaller than the heavy spot, the vibra-
tion amplitude would decrease, while the reference mark
would remain fixed. Again, the mass of the trial weight
would be altered until the rotor was balanced. However, if
the trial weight were heavier than the heavy spot, the refer-
ence mark would shift 180 degrees. The mass of the trial
weight need only be reduced until a satisfactory balance was
achieved.
Field Balancing
3. Most often, the trial weight is placed neither on the heavy
spot, nor directly opposite it. In this case the amplitude may
go up or down, but there would be a definite change in the
location of the reference mark. The angle and direction the
trial weight must be moved, and the correct amount of the
weight must be determined from a vector diagram.
Returning to our example, a trial weight of 5 ounces is added
and a new set of readings is obtained. In this case, the new ampli-
tude is 5 mils and the new reference angle is 120 degrees. This is
shown in Figure 5-2.
In this figure, the original vector is labeled O and the run
with the trial weight installed is labeled O + T.
Next, a vector is drawn from the head of the O vector to the
head of the O + T vector, and is labeled the T vector. This vector
represents the amount of vibration due to the trial weight alone.
The length and direction of the T vector need to be determined to
know where to properly place the balance weight. The length of
the T vector can be measured using the same scale as selected for
0
30
60
120
150
180
210
240
270
300
330
“0”
3.5 mils @ 60°
90
“0” + “T”
5.0 mils @ 120°
1/2 Mil per Division
Figure 5-2. Plotting the Trial Run Vector
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
the polar graph. The length of the T vector is the vibration ampli-
tude in mils, as a result of the trial weight alone. Next, the angle
between the O vector and the T vector is measured using a pro-
tractor.
Figure 5-3 shows the T vector correctly drawn.
With the T vector properly drawn, the length of the T vector
is measured to be 4.4 mils. The angle α, the angle between the O
vector and the T vector, is measured using a protractor, and found
to be 79 degrees. With this information, we can analyze the unbal-
ance problem.
First, we know that the trial weight caused 4.4 mils of vibra-
tion, and that a 5-ounce trial weight was added for the trial bal-
ance run. We can calculate the correct amount of weight to be
added to the rotor with the following equation:
Correction Weight = Trial Weight × O/T (5.1)
In this case, the correction weight = 5 × 3.5/4.4 = 3.977
ounces. The amount to be added would be rounded off to 4
0
30
60
120
150
180
210
240
270
300
330
“0”
3.5 mils @ 60°
“T” = 4.4 mils
90
α = 77°
“0” + “T”
5.0 mils @ 120°
1/2 Mil per Division
Figure 5-3. Plotting and Measuring the T Vector
Field Balancing
ounces. Next, the exact location for the correction weight must be
determined. Again, we will use the information obtained in our
trial run.
The object of the balancing process is to adjust the length of
the T vector to equal the length of the O vector, and to adjust the
direction of the T vector to be 180 degrees opposite of the O vector.
The T vector can be thought of as a vector whose tail is always
connected to the head of the O vector. Thus to make the T vector
point exactly opposite the O vector, it must be shifted by the angle
between the O vector and the T vector. This angle α was measured
to be 79 degrees.
This is the angle that the trial weight must be moved. In
Figure 5-3, the O + T vector was at 120 degrees, while the O vector
had been at 60 degrees. Thus the reference mark shifted from 60
degrees to 120 degrees in a clockwise direction. Remember, the
weight is moved opposite the reference shift direction, so the cor-
rection weight must be added 79 degrees counterclockwise from
the position of the trial weight.
CAUTION: The correction weight is always shifted in an angle
opposite in direction from the shift of the reference mark. The
angle is measured from the location of the trial weight and not the
reference mark.
REMEMBER: Remove the trial weight after adding the correction
weight.
LAW OF SINE
The solution to the balancing problem in the example above
can also be solved with the trigonometric functions sine and co-
sine. To accomplish this, the law of sine and the law of cos must
be used. Refer to Figure 5-4.
Note in Figure 5-4 that the side a is opposite the angle α; the
side b is opposite the angle β; and the side c is opposite the angle
γ.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
LAWS OF SIN & COS
b
α
β
γ
a
c
Figure 5-4. Relationships Between Angles and Sides of a Triangle
sin α/sin β = a/b (5.2)
sin α/sin γ = a/c (5.3)
sin β/sin α = b/a (5.4)
sin β/sin γ = b/c (5.5)
sin γ/sin α = c/a (5.6)
sin γ/sin β = c/b (5.7)
LAW OF COSINE
a
2
= b
2
+ c
2
– 2bc cos α (5.8)
b
2
= a
2
+ c
2
– 2ac cos β (5.9)
c
2
= a
2
+ b
2
– 2ab cos γ (5.10)
In our example, the angle between the O vector and the O +
T vector is β, and the opposite side is the T vector. The angle
between the O vector and the T vector is represented by α and the
opposite side is the O + T vector. Finally, the angle between the O
+ T vector and the T vector is represented by γ and the opposite
side, the O vector. This is illustrated in Figure 5-5.
We know that β = 60 degrees, but we don’t know anything
about the other two angles. Also, we know a = 5 mils and c = 3.5
mils. We need to know the angle α and the length b. The law of
Field Balancing
LAWS OF SIN & COS
O
T
α
β
γ
O + T
Figure 5-5. Solving the Balancing Triangle
cos is used first to determine the length of b (T vector). Since b
2
= a
2
+ c
2
– 2ac cos β substituting yields b
2
= 5
2
+ 3.5
2
– 35 cos (60),
and cos(60) = .50000 (from trigonometric tables). Thus b
2
= 19.75
or b = 4.44409.
Using the law of the sine the angle α is found by sin α/sin
β = a/b or sin α = sin β × (a/b). Substituting sin α = sin(60) (5/
4.44409), and sin(60) = .866025 (from trigonometric tables). Thus,
sin α = .866025 × 1.125089 = .974356 and α = 77 degrees (from
trigonometric tables).
Note that the answers obtained with the mathematical solu-
tions are more accurate than answers obtained graphically. How-
ever, the two answers are so close that the resultant correction
weight and its location will be about the same.
REVIEW
The basic steps required in the single plane balancing pro-
cess:
1. Operate the rotor at the balancing speed, and with the ana-
lyzer filter tuned to 1 × rpm, measure the amplitude of the
vibration in mils, and using a strobe light, note the position
of the phase reference mark. Record the amplitude and phase
angle as the original run.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
2. Stop the rotor and attach a trial weight to the rotor at a diam-
eter where the correction weight can be added or removed.
Record the amount and location of the trial weight.
3. Operate the rotor at balancing speed and again record the
vibration amplitude and the phase angle of the reference
mark. These data are the O + T run.
4. Using polar graph paper, construct both the O and the O + T
vectors. Connect the head of the O vector to the head of the
O + T vector and label the new vector T. Note: assure the T
vector points from the O vector to the O + T vector.
5. Measure and record the length of the T vector. This is the
vibration amplitude caused by the trial weight. Determine
the amount of correction weight required by:
Correction Weight = Trial Weight × O/T
6. Use a protractor to measure the angle between the O and the
T vectors, and record its value. The correction weight will
need to be placed this angle away from the trial weight loca-
tion, in a direction opposite to the direction the reference
mark shifted.
7. Be sure to remove the trial weight after securing the correc-
tion weight in place. Run the rotor again and record the
amplitude of vibration and the reference mark location.
If additional balancing is required, this run will become the
original data. Follow the steps 1 through 7 above until satisfactory
results are achieved.
TRIAL WEIGHTS AND FORCE
Care should be exercised in the selection of the proper trial
weight size. If it is too small, no change in phase or amplitude
may be noted, and one trial run will have been wasted. If the trial
weight is too large, it could cause damage to the machine, espe-
Field Balancing
cially if it normally operates above the first critical speed. The
subject of critical speed will be discussed later.
As a general rule, a trial weight should be selected that will
cause a 30% change in amplitude or a 30-degree shift in the refer-
ence mark location. Changes of this magnitude will insure accu-
rate results are obtained from your calculations. A common
practice used in selecting the size of a trial weight, is selecting a
mass that will produce a force equal to 10% of the rotor weight on
the supporting bearings.
F = 1.774 × (rpm/1000)
2
× inch-ounces (5.11)
Example 5-1
A rotor turns at 1750 rpm and weighs 175 pounds. The rotor
is simply supported by two bearings. Since each bearing supports
87.5 pounds, a force of 8.75 pounds will be sufficient to add the
10% force required for balancing. What trial weight is required?
Step 1. Using Formula 5.11, rearranging and substituting the sup-
plied data, the unbalance is found to be inch-ounces = 8.75/[1.774
× (1750/1000)
2
] or inch-ounces = 1.61.
Step 2. If the trial weight were to be added at a radius of six
inches, a weight of .268 ounces would be required. For practical
purposes, a .25 or quarter ounce weight would be selected.
Be sure to attach trial weights securely to assure they do not
fly off during the subsequent trial runs. There are numerous ways
to add trial weights to a rotor, and a close inspection of the exact
application will reveal the most appropriate method. If the rotor
has a recessed lip, modeling clay can be used for trial weights. Flat
washers, lead weights, hose clamps, reinforced tape, epoxy, and
custom-made clamps have all been used as trial weights.
Trial weights and especially permanent correction weights
can be added by soldering, brazing, and welding. Adding washers
to existing assembly bolts or drilling and tapping new bolt holes
may also be used. Occasionally there will be no location for trial
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
weights. In this situation, a balancing ring may be installed to aid
in the balancing process. A balancing ring is simply a flat metal
ring that can be bolted to the rotating assembly, and has provi-
sions to add trial weights.
Note: the balancing ring must be in perfect balance to pre-
vent interference with the balancing process, unless it is to remain
in place permanently. If the exact correction weight is found,
material of equal weight may be removed 180 degrees opposite
the correction weight location. Drilling, grinding or cutting can be
used for this purpose.
Cautions
When balancing, assure the rotor operates at the same speed
throughout the balancing process. A change in speed, load tem-
perature and other operating conditions can alter the results. If a
change occurs start the balancing process over.
By following these steps and cautions, field balancing pre-
sents few problems. However, if repeated attempts to balance a
rotor fail in providing satisfactory results, and the analysis data
point to unbalance as the problem, there may be other problems
with the machine. Some of these problems that are frequently
encountered are:
1. LOOSE MATERIAL - Machines such as blowers and fans
may accumulate dirt or water in recesses, hollow blades and
hollow shafts. This debris may take a new position each time
the machine is stopped and restarted. Of course this will af-
fect the balancing procedure.
2. ROTOR LOOSE ON ITS SHAFT - This problem is encoun-
tered on rotors that are pressed onto their shaft. If the inter-
ference fit is incorrect, the rotor may rotate slightly on the
shaft during load changes due to the high torque during start
up.
3. OPERATING IN RESONANCE - If the supporting structure
or an element of the machine is resonant at or near the oper-
Field Balancing
ating speed, balancing is usually very difficult. When a ma-
chine is in resonance, it is usually very sensitive to very small
changes in the location or amount of any trial weight.
4. EXCESSIVE CLEARANCE IN BEARINGS - Excessive loose-
ness or clearance in bearings will sometimes cause the system
to respond similarly to that experienced when operating in
resonance.
EQUIVALENT WEIGHTS
There are times when the final correction weight must be
placed at a different radius than the trial weight. When this is the
case, a new correction weight mass must be calculated for the new
radius. This is a straightforward process, since the balance correc-
tion is a product of both the mass and the radius (inch-ounce). All
that is required is that the product of the radius times the weight
remain the same.
Wt.
1
× R
1
= Wt.
2
× R
2
(5.12)
Example 5-2
If a 2.4-ounce correction weight were added to a cooling
tower fan at a radius of 54 inches, what weight would be required
at a radius of 18 inches?
Step 1. By rearranging Equation (5.12) and substituting the sup-
plied data, Wt.
2
= 2.4 × 54/18 = 7.2 ounces. Thus the 7.2-ounce
weight at 18 inches produces the same amount of unbalance as the
2.4-ounce weight at 54 inches.
There are times when several weights can be combined into
one, or times when a single weight must be split into equivalent
weights to accommodate a particular piece of equipment. Once
again, this task is very straightforward.
First let’s examine the case of combining the weights. Figure
5-6 shows three weights being combined into one equivalent
weight.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions









▼ ▼
A
B
C
B
A
R
C
Figure 5-6. Vector Addition
As an illustration, assume 0 degrees is at the 3 o’clock posi-
tion and that the degrees are laid off in the counterclockwise di-
rection. Weight A is 11.5 ounces @ 63 degrees; weight B is 7.0
ounces @ 160 degrees; and weight C is 8.5 ounces @ 0 degrees.
When the three vectors that represent the weights are placed
tail to head, and the resultant R drawn from the tail of the first
vector to the head of the last vector, the measured length of the
resultant is the equivalent weight. The angle formed by the result-
ant is the equivalent angle where the weight is to be applied. In
this instance, the equivalent weight is 14.8 ounces @ 60 degrees.
Once again the same results could have been obtained using
trigonometric functions. First, we can find all the vertical distances
and add them together and then the horizontal components can be
found and summed together.
Y = A sin α + B sin β + C sin γ + … (5.13)
X = A cos α + B cos β + C cos γ + … (5.14)
Therefore:
Y = 11.5 sin(63) + 7 sin(160) + 8.5 sin(0) or Y= 11.5 × .89100 + 7
× .342020 + 8.5 × 0.0 = 12.6407
and
= 11.5 cos(63) + 7 × cos(160) + 8.5 × cos(0) or X = 11.5 × .45399
+ 7 × (–.93969) + 8.5 × 1.000 = 7.14303
X
Field Balancing
Since the values of X and Y form a right triangle:
a
2
+ b
2
= c
2
(5.15)
By rearranging Equation (5.15) and substituting the supplied data,
c = ((12.6407)
2
– (7.14303)
2
)
.5
= 14.585
The length c is the resultant, or the required balance weight.
In this case the weight is 14.6 ounces. Once again, the mathemati-
cal method is more accurate than the graphical method, but the
answers are very close.
To find the angle, several methods could be employed, but
we will use the arcsine (asin) function.
Degrees = asin (Y/R) (5.16)
Here, asin (Y/R) simply means the angle in degrees, whose sin =
(Y/R). Dividing the value of Y by R and looking in the sin table
for that value yields: asin (.8669) = 60.07 degrees.
Once again the mathematical solution is more accurate than
the graphical method, but not enough to warrant its use in most
cases. It is a good practice to work all problems using both meth-
ods to check your work.
The following illustration is provided to show that the planes
onto which the weight can be resolved do not have to be at right
angles to each other. Figure 5-7 represents a typical case of split-
ting the required correction weight into two equivalent weights.
The lines marked B, B’, C and C’ are not vectors, but lines
representing planes. Note that vectors must have arrow heads
indicating their direction of application.
To graphically resolve this problem, either the B plane or the
C plane can be moved parallel, forming either the B’ or the C’
planes. These planes represent the direction the equivalent
weights must act in, and therefore, must maintain the same rela-
tive angle.
Note that regardless of which plane was moved, it was
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
B’
B


C
AA


Ab’
Ac

A
Ab
C’
B
C
Ac’



Figure 5-7. Splitting the Correction Weight
placed at the head of the A vector. Starting at the tail of the A
vector, a vector is constructed by drawing an arrow head on the
appropriate plane where it is intersected by the second plane
where an equivalent weight is to be placed.
As with the other graphical problems, a mathematical solu-
tion is also possible, and will provide a more accurate answer. To
follow through with this illustration, assume that vector A repre-
sented a 10-ounce weight, and acted at an angle of 75 degrees.
Further, assume that the B plane is @ 90 degrees and the C plane
is @ 30 degrees. Again, zero degrees is assumed at the 3 o’clock
position and the degrees are laid off in a counterclockwise direc-
tion.
First, the A vector needs to be resolved into its X and Y com-
ponents. Recalling Y = A sin α, and X = A cos α or Y = 10 sin (75)
= 9.65925, and X= 10 cos (75) = 2.58819. Now the equivalent values
for each of the two planes B and C can be found. Since Y = B sin
β + C sin γ and X = B cos β + C cos γ, substituting the data yields
9.65925 = B sin (90) + C sin (30) and 2.58819 = B cos (90) + C cos
Field Balancing
(30). Solving the trigonometric functions yields 9.65925 = B + .5 C,
and 2.58819 = .866025 C.
Now the two equations can be simultaneously solved by
substituting the value of C from the first equation into the second
equation. This yields C = 2.98858 and B = 9.65925 – (.5 × 2.98858)
= 8.16495.
Thus by placing a 3-ounce weight at 30 degrees and an 8-
ounce weight at 90 degrees will produce the same result as the 10-
ounce weight at 75 degrees.
Note that although the B plane was @ 90 degrees, allowing a
simple solution for C, the same results can be achieved regardless
of the angles involved. There will always be two equations with
two unknowns; therefore, a solution is easily achieved.
TWO PLANE BALANCING
The majority of unbalance situations are not pure static in
nature; thus, utilization of single plane balancing is ineffective. In
general, the unbalance must be either compensated for in the
same plane in which it occurs, or resolved into two or more cor-
rective planes to prevent the formation of couple forces.
In Figure 5-8 a correction weight equal to the unbalance is
added in the wrong plane. The result will be a couple.
Center of
Center of
the shaft
Unbalance
weight
rotation
Correction
Figure 5-8. Locating the Correction Weight in a Different Plane than
the Unbalance
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
FORCE
FORCE
Figure 5-9. A Couple Force
The two forces are acting 180 degrees out of phase and in
different planes, causing the shaft to wobble about its centerline.
Note that the correction weight could also be a second source of
unbalance and that it would not necessarily have to be directly
opposite the unbalance nor equal in weight.
To prevent the formation of a couple force, the correction
must act in the same plane as the unbalance, or resolve to the
same plane. That is, the sum of the forces and the sum of the
moments must equal zero. A moment is a force times the distance
from a reference point.
In Figure 5-10 it can be seen that splitting the correction
weights into two equal parts and spacing them equal distances
from the unbalance is an acceptable solution to an unbalance.
However, the number and location of the correction weights must
always meet two basic criteria.
FORCE
FORCE
FORCE
FORCE
FORCE
Figure 5-10. Two Acceptable Solutions to an Unbalance
Field Balancing
1. The sum of the forces from the correction weight(s) and the
unbalance, must equal zero.
2. The sum of the moments about the unbalance must equal
zero.
Example 5-3
A rotating element has a 10-pound unbalance. A 5-pound
weight is placed 5 feet to the right of the unbalance, 180 degrees
opposite it. Two additional weights are added to the left of the
unbalance, also 180 degrees opposite the unbalance, a 2-pound
weight at 8 feet and a 3-pound weight at 3 feet. Show that the
corrections made will balance the shaft.
▲ 10#
8’ 3’
5’


2#
3#

5#
Figure 5-11. Example 5-3
Step 1. The two basic criteria must be met for the shaft to be in
balance. Since the correction weights are all placed 180 degrees
opposite the unbalance, the sum of their weights must equal the
unbalance to satisfy the first criteria. 2 + 3 + 5 = 10, thus the
amount of added weight is correct.
Step 2. The second criteria states the sum of the moments must
equal zero. Selecting the point of unbalance as the reference point,
the unbalance has no moment, since the distance is zero. Assum-
ing measurements to the right of the reference are positive and
measurements to the left are negative, the moments are 2 × –8 =
–16, 3 × –3 = –9, and 5 × 5 = 25. Adding these moments yields –
16 – 9 + 25 = 0, and thus the second criteria is also met.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Referring to Figure 5-12, the unbalance on the shaft is closer
to the left end bearing. Vibration readings taken at the two bearing
locations will differ. Attempting to correct the unbalance at point
A will not resolve the problem. Corrections will need to be made
at both bearing locations.
Unbalance
▲ ▲
A B
Figure 5-12. Unbalance on a Shaft
By observing Figure 5-12, it can also be seen that adding
correction weights to either end will set up couple forces, and thus
alter the vibration at the opposite end. Trying to correct at the
second end will have the same effect on the first end and so on.
This is referred to as cross-effect. Due to this cross-effect, each end
cannot simply be treated as a single plane problem without hav-
ing to make numerous runs and corrections. It is far better to
determine the cross-effect and take its effects into account.
After it has been determined that a machine element requires
balancing, and that a two plane approach is required, the machine
should be shutdown and a convenient reference mark placed so
that phase angles can be recorded. The end of a shaft is the best
location, since it is easily observed during operation. In addition,
shaft ends often have keyways or other distinctive features that
can be identified for phase locations.
Some machines may require balancing in more than two
planes to eliminate the forces of unbalance. This may be true of
shafts that have multiple rotors stacked on them, where the unbal-
ance may be in several planes. Although the two plane balancing
method can satisfy the two basic criteria, if the rotor is flexible
vibration still may occur.
A flexible rotor is considered as a rotor that operates within
70% or more of its resonant frequency or one of its harmonics.
Field Balancing
These rotating elements will require balancing by a multi-plane
method. This type of balancing is best left to shop balancing and
not attempted in the field.
Multi-plane balancing is beyond the scope of this book and is
not discussed further.
Since this balancing technique requires a bit more accuracy
than the single plane method, it is recommended that a polar
graph be attached to the machine by cutting out the center and
placing it over the end of the shaft. This will assist in determining
the exact phase angles during the balancing process.
Figure 5-13 shows a polar graph attached to a machine end,
and its shaft end marked with an arrow. Felt-tip markers are use-
ful in marking phase reference locations.
To start the balancing process, the vibration analyzer is tuned
to the operating speed and a strobe light is attached to measure
the reference phase angles. The use of two pickups is recom-
mended to avoid having to move from one end to the other for
each set of measurements.
An initial run is made and the amplitude and phase angles
are measured and recorded for both the near end and the far end
0
30
60
90
120
150
180
210
240
270
300
330
Figure 5-13. Using Polar Graph Paper for Phase Reference
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
of the machine. The machine is shutdown and a trial weight is
added to the near end. Record the weight and the angle from the
reference mark to the location of the trial weight.
Re-start the machine and measure and record the new ampli-
tude and phase location for the near and far ends. Stop the ma-
chine and remove the trial weight. Place a trial weight at the far
end, recording the weight and location. The location must be ref-
erenced to the near end and recorded as degrees clockwise from
the reference point.
Re-start the machine and again measure and record the near-
and far-end amplitudes and phase angles.
The remainder of the process of determining the amount and
location of the correction weights is best explained through an
example. Like the single plane method, the recorded data will be
transferred to polar graph paper and additional information mea-
sured and calculated.
Example 5-4
A machine had the following data recorded: What are the
recommended corrections?
Original readings: (N0) Near end: 7.1 mils @ 60 degrees.
(F0) Far end: 5.4 mils @ 215 degrees.
First trial run: (N1) Near end: 4.9 mils @ 120 degrees.
(F1) Far end: 3.7 mils @ 230 degrees.
(T1) Trial weight: 8 ounces @ 270 degrees
Second trial run: (N2) Near end: 5.1 mils @ 35 degrees.
(F2) Far end: 8.6 mils @ 160 degrees.
(T2) Trial weight: 10 ounces @ 180 degrees
What are the recommended corrections?
For this example, the following conventions will be used.
1. The convention N0 > N1 will represent a vector whose length
is from N0 to N1 and the > sign denotes the direction in
Field Balancing
which it acts. In this case, the vector is drawn from the tip of
the N0 vector to the tip of the N1 vector.
Since vectors have two basic components, their magnitude
and direction, the convention for a vector named A—calculated
from two other vector quantities, X and Y—will be A = (X/Y) units
@ (X + Y) degrees. In this case the desired length is the length of
X divided by Y and the desired angle is X plus Y.
What is important is that the symbol for a vector will repre-
sent its length and the underlined symbol will represent the angle
of that vector.
Step 1. Plot the six readings on polar graph paper. Figure 5-14
illustrates the plotted data. In this example, each circle represents
1 mil.
0
30
60
90
120
150 210
240
270
300
330
180
Figure 5-14. Example 5-4 Plotted Data
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Step 2. Determine the length and direction of the vector from N0
> N1.
60
90
120
Figure 5-15. Example 5-4 Finding the Vector N0 to N1
Note the symbol > is used to denote the direction of the
vector. Using the proper scale, the measured length of the vector
from N0 > N1 is 7.6 mils. Drawing a line parallel to the N0 > N1
vector so that is passes through the center of the polar graph al-
lows the angle to be measured. The angle is found to be 198 de-
grees.
The length of the N0 > N1 vector could have been calculated
by breaking the N0 and N1 vectors into their X and Y components,
taking their difference, and using the relation r
2
= x
2
+ y
2
. The
angle can be found using the law of sines.
Step 3. The next step involves determining the length and direc-
tion of the F0 > F2; F0 > F1 and the N0 > N2 vectors. These can
be plotted on the graph and measured in the same manner as the
N0 > N1 vector.
Again, measuring the length and angles of these vectors
yields:
N0 > N2: 3.3 mils @ 281 degrees.
F0 > F2: 7.1 mils @ 121 degrees.
F0 > F1: 2.1 mils @ 7 degrees.
Field Balancing
60
90
120
150
180
210
Figure 5-16. Example 5-4 Vector Construction
To further illustrate how these results can be achieved math-
ematically, the values for the F0 > F2 vector are calculated below.
First, the original vectors F0 and F2 are broken into their X and Y
values:
X = 8.6 sin(160) – 5.4 sin(215) = 6.0386
Y = 8.6 cos(160) – 5.4 cos(215) = –3.6579
r
2
= (6.0386) 2 + (–3.6579)
2
or r = 7.1
Now that the length is known, the angle needs to be deter-
mined.
Referring to Figure 5-17, X, Y and r are known and it is fur-
ther known that the angle c is a right angle. Using the law of sines,
sin b = X/r sin c, or since c is 90 degrees, sin b = X/r. It follows
that the angle b expressed in degrees equals arcsin(X/r). The angle
b is found to be 58.26 degrees. From Figure 5-17, it is noted the
angle e is equal to 180 – b or about 121 degrees.
In determining the angle, it is always useful to sketch the
three vectors to determine an approximate angle to assure the
results are correct.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
0
90
e
b
b r
Y
c

a
X
Figure 5-17. Determining the Vector Angle
Example (5.4) (Cont’d)
Step 4. Calculate the following additional vectors from the mea-
sured values. First, the measured values will be assigned new
names.
A = N0 > N1 = 6.3 mils @ 198 degrees.
Aa = F0 > F1 = 2.1 mils @ 7 degrees.
B = F0 > F2 = 7.1 mils @ 121 degrees.
Bb = N0 > N2 = 3.3 mils @ 281 degrees.
The following calculations are now performed:
a = (Aa/A) mils @ (Aa – A) degrees = (2.1/6.3) @ (7 – 198)
degrees.
a = .3 mils @ 171 degrees.
b = (Bb/B) mils @ (Bb – B) degrees = (3.3/7.1) @ (281 – 121)
degrees.
b = .5 mils @ 160 degrees.
Na = (N0 × a) mils @ (N0 + a) degrees = (7.1 × .3) mils @ (60
+ 171) degrees.
Na = 2.1 mils @ 231 degrees.
Field Balancing
Fb = (b × F0) mils @ (b + F0) degrees = (.5 × 5.4) mils @ (160
+ 215) degrees.
Fb = 2.7 mils @ 15 degrees.
Note: The sum of the degrees for Fb was greater than 360, so the
result had 360 subtracted from it, 372 – 360 = 12. At times, the
results can provide a negative degree. This is corrected by adding
360. Assume a reading of –45 degrees was obtained. The final
answer would be –45 + 360 = 215 degrees.
Step 5. Once again, some vectors will need to be constructed.
Starting with a new polar graph, construct the following vectors:
Fb, N0, Na, F0.
Now the vectors C = N0 > Fb and D = F0 > Na can be plotted
and measured for their length and associated angles.
0
30
60
90
120
150 210
240
270
300
330
180
Figure 5-18. Example (5.4) Data Plot
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
0
30
60
120
150 210
240
270
300
330
90
180
Figure 5-19. Example (5.4) Determining the C and D Vectors
Measuring the length and angles of these vectors yields:
C = 5.6 mils @ 258 degrees.
D = 3.2 mils @ 24 degrees.
Step 6. Again additional values need to be calculated.
ab = (a × b) units @ (a + b) degrees = (.3 × .5) units @ (171 + 160)
ab = .2 units @ 331 degrees.
Note: The ab vector is expressed in units not in mils. This will
become clear further into this example.
Step 7. The next step is to use a new polar graph and plot a unity
vector UV. The unity vector will be one unit in length at zero (0)
degrees. This new plot should use a different scale from the other
plots, allowing the unity vector to be as large as practical. For this
Field Balancing
example, the unity vector will be constructed at a scale of 10 to 1,
that is 10 divisions on the polar plot will equal 1 unit.
Figure 5-20 illustrates the plot of the unity vector at a scale of
10 to 1.
0
30
60
90
120
150 210
240
270
300
330
180
Figure 5-20. Example (5.4) Plotting the Unit Vector
With the unit vector plotted, the next step is to plot the ab
vector on this new plot using the same scale as used to plot the
unit vector. Next, construct the vector E = ab > UV and measure
its length and angle.
E = .9 units @ 5 degrees.
Step 8. Now the final calculations may be performed.
Ac = (C/E) units @ (C – E) degrees = (5.7/.9) units @ (261
– 5) degrees.
Ac = 6.4 units @ 253 degrees
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
0
30
60
90
120
150 210
240
270
300
330
180
Figure 5-21. Example (5.4) Plotting the E Vector
Bd = (D/E) units @ (D – E) degrees = (4.4/.9) units @ (36 -
5)
Bd = 3.7 units @ 19 degrees
c = (Ac/A) units @ (Ac – A) degrees = (6.4/6.3) units @
(253 - 198) degrees
c = 1 units @ 56 degrees
d = (Bd/B) units @ (Bd – B) degrees = (3.7/7.1) units @ (19
- 121) degrees.
d = .5 units b@ 258 degrees
CWN = (T1 × c) ounces @ (T1 – c) degrees = (8 × 1) ounces @
(270 - 56)
CWN = 8 ounces @ 214 degrees
CWF = (T2 × d) ounces @ (T2 – d) degrees = (10 × .5) ounces
@ (180 - 258) degrees
CWF = 5 ounces @ 282 degrees.
Field Balancing
Note in the above calculations, the least significant digits
were set as 1/10
th
. By calculating using least significant digits to
1/1000
th
, the answers are slightly altered. In this case, the solution
would be:
CWN = 8.2 ounces @ 214 degrees.
CWF = 5.2 ounces @ 282 degrees.
Assuming the machine in example (5.4) operated at 1,750
rpm and the trial weights were placed at a radius of 16 inches
from the center, the difference would cause an unbalanced force
of: F = 1.77 × (1750/1000)
2
× .2 × 16 or 17.34 pounds of force.
Depending on the weight of the rotor and the type of machine,
this may be significant.
WHICH METHOD
As a general guide, rotors with a W/D ratio of .5 or less may
be balanced using the single plane method if they operate at less
than 1,000 rpm. Above 1,000 RMP the two plane method should
be used. Rotors with a W/D ratio above .5 that operate below 150
rpm may use the single plane method of balancing. Those above
150 rpm should use the two plane method.
W ▲



D
Figure 5-22. W/D Ratio for Rotors
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
OVERHUNG ROTORS
Overhung rotors are often found in fans or blowers that have
a W/D ratio of less than .5, and most often operate at speeds of
less than 1,000 rpm. The single plane method of balancing can
often be employed to correct unbalance conditions for this type of
rotor.
a
b

1


2

Figure 5-23. An Overhung Rotor
Referring to Figure 5-23, the vibration readings are taken at
bearing 1 and the corrections are made in plane a. Once the cor-
rections have been made, the vibration is measured at bearing 2.
If the vibration levels are unacceptable, corrections must be made
in plane b using the vibration data from bearing 2.
Adding a trial weight in the b plane will upset the balancing
effort done in the a plane. To compensate for this, an equal but
opposite weight is added in the a plane, to establish a couple
force. This second trial weight is used to preserve the static bal-
ance in plane a.
Placement of the second trial weight in the a plane, must be
exactly 180 degrees opposite the trial weight placed in the b plane
and produce the same unbalance. That is, it is of the same weight
and placed at the same radius, or of different weight but placed at
a radius that creates the same inch-ounces of unbalance.
Now the single plane method is performed for the b plane
using the data from bearing 2. Once the correction is made, be
sure to remove the trial weight from the a plane, and then recheck
Field Balancing
its balance using data from bearing 1. These steps are repeated as
often as required to achieve an acceptable balance of the rotor.
NOTES ON BALANCING
First and foremost, assure the machine is truly suffering from
unbalance prior to attempting corrections to balance. Observe the
machine for obvious causes of unbalance, such as broken or miss-
ing cooling vanes on electric motors, loose impellers, missing key
material, excessive key material, different length bolts, etc. On
fans, blowers and compressors, check for buildup of debris which
can cause unbalance and clean first. Scale and rust buildup can
also alter the balance of this type machine.
Many large cooling tower fans and fin-fan coolers have hol-
low blades. Usually, the tip of the blade has a small hole drilled to
its center to allow any trapped moisture to escape. Assure these
holes are open and free to flow any moisture from the blade. In-
ternal corrosion and scale can also be a source of unbalance.
On fans with adjustable blades, assure they are all of the
same length and are set to the same pitch. Another source on vi-
bration that may appear to be unbalance is aerodynamic force
generated as blades pass over support members.
Assure the major component of the vibration is occurring at
1 × rpm.
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A Single Plane Balancing Technique

Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter
A Single Plane A Single Plane
A Single Plane A Single Plane A Single Plane
Balancing Technique Balancing Technique
Balancing Technique Balancing Technique Balancing Technique
INTRODUCTION
T T
T T
T
here is a simple balancing technique that is very useful in
balancing cooling tower fans and fin fan coolers. This is the
four-circle method and will be discussed in some detail. The
basic advantage of this method is that it does not require a vibra-
tion analyzer that has a strobe light, or other methods of measur-
ing phase angle. This method requires only amplitude
measurements.
The main disadvantage of this method is that it requires start-
ing and stopping the fan several times. However, it does work
very well on these relatively slow-speed rotating elements.
GRAPHICAL SOLUTION
First, the amplitude of the vibration at 1 × rpm is measured
and recorded. A circle with a radius equal to the measured ampli-
tude is then drawn. Note that any convenient scale can be used for
laying out the graphics, i.e., 5 mils equals 1/4 inch.
As an example, a cooling tower fan has three blades and
operates at 330 rpm. An initial vibration was taken and the ampli-
tude of vibration in the radial direction was recorded as 46 mils at
330 cpm. The vibration pickup was attached to the gear box and
will remain attached at the same point throughout the balancing
process.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
The first step is to lay out a circle whose radius is equal to the
amplitude of the original vibration. Remember, any convenient
scale can be used, but be sure to allow for the additional circles
which will be drawn with their centers located around the original
circle’s circumference. As a minimum, allow 4 times the original
amplitude to be the minimum layout. That is, if the original am-
plitude was 46 mils, a minimum of 4 × 46 or 184 divisions should
be available. Since the selected graph paper has 100 divisions, a
scale of 5 to 1 was chosen. Thus, the required minimum would be
(46/5)*4 or 36.8 divisions which will fit on the selected graph
paper. Note: a scale of 2 to 1 could be used in this example. Using
a scale of 5 mils per division, the circle would have a radius of 46/
5 or 9.2 divisions.
A circle with a radius of 9.2 divisions was laid out to repre-
sent the original vibration amplitude, as shown in Figure 6-1.
Next, the fan is stopped, locked out, and the blades chained
so that they can be numbered in a counterclockwise direction. Any
blade can be designated as blade #1. The number of blades on the
fan will determine the angle between blades. The angle between
blades is simply 360/number of blades. The location of the fan
blades is then laid out on the graph.
SCALE: 5 mils per division
Figure 6-1. Laying Out the Original Vibration Amplitude
A Single Plane Balancing Technique
SCALE: 5 mils per division
Figure 6-2. Locating the Blades on the Graph
At 3 o’clock, draw a line from the original circle’s center to its
circumference, and label it blade #1. The angle between blades is
measured from the blade #1 line to determine the location of blade
#2. The same process is used to locate blade #3. Note that only the
first three blades need be located. The angle between blades is
calculated by:
e = 360/N
b
(6.1)
Where:
N
b
is the total number of blades on the fan.
A suitably sized trial weight is selected and secured to blade
#1. The fan is operated and the amplitude of the vibration at
operating speed is recorded. The amplitude of this vibration is
drawn as a circle with a radius equal to the amplitude with its
center at the point where the blade #1 line intersects the circum-
ference of the original circle. In this example, the new amplitude
was 31 mils peak-to-peak.
The fan is stopped and the trial weight is removed from
blade #1 and placed on blade #2 at the same distance from the
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
SCALE: 5 mils per division
Figure 6-3. Adding Trial #1 Vibration to the Graph
center as used on blade #1. Again, the fan is operated and the
amplitude is recorded. In this example 49 mils peak-to-peak was
recorded.
This amplitude is again drawn as a circle with its radius
equal to the amplitude and its center where the blade #2 line in-
tersects the original circle’s circumference.
The same process is repeated for blade three, and the third
trial-run circle is constructed. The graph should now consist of the
original amplitude circle, three lines representing the first three
blade locations, and three additional circles representing the am-
plitude of the three trial runs. In this example Trial Run #3 had a
peak-to-peak amplitude of 71 mils.
Note that although part of the circles representing Trial Runs
#2 and #3 did not fit on the graph, only the portion of the circle
that intercepts the Trial Run #1 circle is required.
Once the basic graph has been laid out, the T vector can be
drawn. The T vector is drawn from the original circle’s center to
the point where all three trial run circles intersect each other. It
should be noted that all three circles may not intersect each other
at exactly the same point, due to the error in amplitude measure-
ments, or due to errors in construction of the graph. However, the
A Single Plane Balancing Technique
SCALE: 5 mils per division
Figure 6-4. Adding Trial Run #2 to the Graph
SCALE: 5 mils per division
Figure 6-5. Adding Trial Run #3 to the Graph
point can easily be estimated. Figure 6-6 depicts the correctly
drawn T vector.
Due to scale factors and the thickness of the pencil, often the
three circles don’t all meet at the exact same point. Estimate the
point where they should have met and calculate the T vector.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Figure 6-6. Drawing the T Vector
Figure 6-7 shows how to estimate the point where the three
trial-run circles should have intersected each other.
Points A, B and C represent the intersection of circles 1 and
2, circles 2 and 3, and circles 3 and 1 respectively. To determine the
exact location of the head of the T vector, three lines are drawn
connecting the three circles’ intersecting points, line A-A, line B-B,
and line C-C.
These three lines will intersect at a common point. This point
is the exact location of the head of the T vector.
In the case where the circles fail to overlap, draw a line from
the center of circle 1 to the centers of circles 2 and 3. Next draw
a line from the center of circle 2 to the center of circle 3. Divide
each of these lines in half and draw a line from that point to the
center of the circle opposite that line. Where these three lines in-
tersect is the location of the T vector head.
The T vector is drawn from the center of the original ampli-
tude circle to this point. The length of the T vector is now mea-
A Single Plane Balancing Technique
Figure 6-7. Estimating the Intersection Point
Figure 6-8. Locating the Intersection Point of Three Circles
sured. The correction weight required is determined by Equation
(6.2).
Correction Weight = Trial Weight × O/T (6.2)
The angle formed by the T vector is the location of the cor-
rection weight. This process can be repeated as often as required
until acceptable results are obtained. Generally, two balancing
runs should provide good results. As with all maintenance prac-
tices, careful attention to small details will result in big divi-
dends.
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Misalignment of Machine Shafts

Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter
Misalignment of Misalignment of
Misalignment of Misalignment of Misalignment of
Machine Shafts Machine Shafts
Machine Shafts Machine Shafts Machine Shafts
INTRODUCTION
V V
V V
V
ibration due to misalignment is almost as common as vi-
bration due to unbalance. The misalignment can be inter-
nal, that is misaligned bearings, or external such as two
pieces of equipment that are coupled together. It takes a precise
method of alignment to assure these parts are aligned so that no
forces are generated due to their misalignment.
In the case of an anti-friction bearing being misaligned with
its shaft, the vibration will exist in both the radial and axial direc-
tions. Figure 7-1 illustrates an anti-friction bearing misaligned to
the shaft. Proper installation of the bearing will eliminate this vi-
bration.
Sleeve bearings must have an accompanying unbalance to
exhibit classical misalignment vibration characteristics. Again, if
an unbalance exists, the shaft will have both radial and axial vi-
brations. These vibration characteristics are due to the bearings’
VIBRATION
Figure 7-1. Anti-Friction Bearing with Misalignment
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
reaction to the unbalance. The real source of these characteristics
is thus the unbalance. The amplitude of both the radial and axial
vibrations will be reduced when the rotor is balanced.
Figure 7-2 depicts misalignment of a sleeve-type bearing to
its shaft.
VIBRATION
Figure 7-2. Sleeve Bearing with Misalignment
TYPES OF MISALIGNMENT
Misalignment in couplings can manifest itself in three basic
ways. The first is parallel offset as shown in Figure 7-3. In this
type of misalignment, the two shafts can be offset vertically, hori-
zontally, or a combination of both.
This type of misalignment is often found in small equipment
that has a common base plate, and the equipment is doweled to
the base plate. Many manufacturers dowel the equipment in this
fashion, but it is always wise to check for proper alignment. This
often requires discarding the dowels.
The second type is angular misalignment, and is depicted in
Figure 7-4. In this type of alignment, the angularity again can be
in the vertical plane, the horizontal plane, or both. Misalignment
will almost always be in both the vertical and the horizontal
planes.
In most cases, misalignment in couplings will not occur as
either a pure parallel offset or as a pure angular misalignment, but
rather as a combination of both. This is the third type of misalign-
ment and is shown in Figure 7-5.
Misalignment of Machine Shafts
Figure 7-3. Coupling with Parallel Offset Misalignment
Figure 7-4. Coupling with Angular Misalignment
Figure 7-5. Coupling with Most Common Form of Misalignment.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
A bent shaft exhibits vibration characteristics very much like
those of misalignment. However, it is easily detected when align-
ment attempts fail to reduce the vibration amplitude.
Misalignment results in two primary forces, one in the radial
direction, and the other in the axial direction. This is true even
with flexible couplings where the misalignment is within the tol-
erances of the coupling.
As with unbalance, the amplitude of the vibration will in-
crease as the problem is worsens. Therefore, the more misalign-
ment, the more vibration. The key to detection of misalignment or
a bent shaft is the high axial vibration.
In general, the vibration is at 1 × rpm, but when the misalign-
ment is severe, second order (2 × rpm) and even third order (3 ×
rpm) vibrations can occur.
MISALIGNMENT IN BELT DRIVES
Misalignment of sheaves sprockets and V-belt drives also
produces these vibration characteristics. This type of misalign-
ment results in severe wear to chains, V-belts, sprockets, and
sheaves. Misalignment in V-belt drives that employ multiple belts
can create a host of other problems as well. Misalignment will
alter the tension of the different belts, so some may slip and others
may be overloaded. This can obviously lead to premature belt
failures.
Generally, these belts come as a set and thus their replace-
ment cost is normally high. Multi-belt systems should always be
replaced as a set, since the individual belts are matched to each
other at the manufacturer. In addition, the cost of down time and
labor to change a single belt vs. replacing the entire set is usually
nil. However, if only a single belt were replaced and another belt
in the set were to fail in a few hours of operation, these costs
would far offset the price of the set of belts.
One method of detection, is to draw a chalk mark across the
set of belts when the unit is off. Using a strobe light, the frequency
Misalignment of Machine Shafts
is adjusted to the rpm of the belts, and the different speeds of the
belts can be seen.
As an alternate method, operate the unit for a very short time
(bump the motor) and inspect the location of the marks on the
belts. If they have departed from each other, check for possible
misalignment. Figures 7-6 and 7-7, show exaggerated misalign-
ment in V-belt drives.
The amount of misalignment shown in Figure 7-6 would re-
sult in the drive belts being thrown off the pulleys. However, it
can be seen from the figures that misalignment can result in vibra-
tion characteristics similar to misalignment in shafts.
Too often, it is thought that belt drives are self-aligning and
thus little to no attention is paid to their alignment. This is simply
Figure 7-6. Angular Misalignment in Belt Drives.
Figure 7-7. Offset Misalignment in Belt Drives
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
not the case. This type of misalignment will manifest itself into the
same failures of bearings as shaft misalignment.
Figure 7-8 shows why using a straightedge to align pulleys or
sheaves can lead to errors. Note that the two pulleys have a dif-
ferent face thickness. Aligning these pulleys with a straightedge
causes the sheave centers to be offset. Be sure to measure the
thickness of any pulleys that will be aligned using this method. It
is far better to use the pulleys’ center-lines as a reference.
Figure 7-8. Errors in Using Straightedge to Align Pulleys
Regardless how V-belt and chain drives are aligned, the
amount of axial vibration is a sure sign of the preciseness of the
alignment. In general, when the axial vibration exceeds 1/2 the
highest vertical or horizontal vibration, misalignment or a bent
shaft should be suspected.
To determine if the cause of vibration is related to the belt
itself, the rpm of the belt needs to be determined. The following
formula determines the belt rpm.
rpm = 3.14159 × Pulley Diameter/Belt Length (7.1)
If the vibrations are at belt rpm or a multiple of belt rpm, the
belt(s) should be suspect. Belt defects can be in the form of miss-
ing material, uneven widths, lumps on the belt, cracks, hard spots,
soft spots, and others. Regardless, these will show up at belt rpm.
Multi-belt applications may exhibit frequencies that do not coin-
cide with belt rpm, since several belts could have defects at differ-
ent locations.
Belt tension is very important in assuring the long life of the
belts and equipment. Although belts that are too loose may not be
Misalignment of Machine Shafts
able to transmit all the required power, there are other problems
as well. Belt tension directly affects the natural frequency of the
belts. Belts that are either too tight or too loose can go into reso-
nance. This in turn will cause a vibration which can be harmful to
the bearings and seals.
PHASE ANGLE RELATIONS
Although phase analysis is useful in determining whether a
bent shaft or misalignment is the source of the vibration, it is not
foolproof. The easiest solution is to check the alignment with dial
indicators. Precise methods are discussed in following chapters. It
is best to check the alignment with the equipment at operating
temperature to assure the problem is not due to thermal growth.
The first step in using phase angles as a diagnostic tool is to
locate a reference point on the shaft or coupling that is easily vis-
ible throughout the entire 360 degrees of rotation. Often, the key-
way in the shaft serves this purpose well.
A vibration analyzer with a strobe light attachment is re-
quired to take these readings. The direction of the vibration
pickup must not be changed from reading to reading. Changes in
the direction in which readings are taken will cause a phase shift.
The types of readings taken (displacement, velocity, accelera-
tion) cannot be changed when taking phase readings. To do so will
change the phase angle.
Since the objective is to determine a bent shaft from misalign-
ment, the strobe light should be set to trigger on the vibration, but
the filter should be used to assure the vibration source is a 1 ×
rpm. The filter should not be re-tuned during the other phase
readings.
For the initial test, four readings around the bearing should
be taken. Typically, the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions should be
used. The end of the shaft can be viewed as a clock face so that the
phase mark can be referenced to the points of the clock. A reading
at 3:00 o’clock would be 90 degrees from the top; a reading of 7:00
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
would be 210 degrees from the top, etc.
Figure 7-9 illustrates the imaginary clock face around a bear-
ing.
It is not important as to where the original phase mark ap-
pears, but rather the change in position as readings are taken at
various locations. When this test is being performed for analysis
of potential misalignment, the basic clock hours are close enough.
However, when balancing, a polar graph paper taped to the ma-
chine may be useful in increasing the accuracy of your measure-
ments.
In Figure 7-10, the four points to measure phase angle on a
bearing are located. Starting at point A, locate the keyway or other
mark on the shaft and note its phase angle. Repeat for the remain-
ing three points. If the phase mark remains relatively unchanged,
the bearing is moving in phase—that is, the entire bearing is
moving in and out at the same time.
12
1
2
3
4
5
7
8
9
10
11
6
Figure 7-9. Using a Clock Face for Reference
Misalignment of Machine Shafts
A
D
+ B
C
Figure 7-10. Locating Four Reference Points
The next step is to measure the bearing across the coupling.
Often, this will require the pickup to be placed in the opposite
direction. If the pickup is reversed, the new phase readings must
be adjusted by 180 degrees.
In Figure 7-11, the direction of the vibration pickup for each
bearing location is shown. Assuming the initial readings were
taken at point B (to use the keyway as a reference point), readings
taken at points A and C would need to be corrected by 180 de-
grees.
B C


A


D
Figure 7-11. Direction of Vibration Pickup at Each Bearing
In general, if the readings taken at points A and B are close
to being the same phase angle and the readings of points C and D
are close to each other; and the points B and C are 180 degrees out
of phase, the problem is usually between the two bearings. This
could be a coupling problem or a strong, but not conclusive, indi-
cation of misalignment.
It is always best to check the alignment and inspect the cou-
pling at this point. Refer to the chapters on alignment for inspec-
tions to be made on the coupling.

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
NOTE ON ELECTRIC MOTORS
In general, the electric motor is considered as the movable
machine when performing alignment of equipment trains. Often
this is due to constraints caused by piping or other connections to
the driven equipment. Usually this creates little or no problem,
since the electrical connections to the motor are most often termi-
nated with a short piece of flex conduit.
However, some potential problems can occur when aligning
the motor to a stationary piece of equipment. In some cases, the
motor may be aligned in such a manner that its magnetic center
and its gravitational center do not coincide.
This internal misalignment of centers can cause the motor’s
rotor to pulse as it operates. This is due to its hunting for the
magnetic center while being pulled to its normal center of gravity.
Motor Rotor Operating
In Its Magnetic Center
Figure 7-12. Rotor Operating in its Magnetic Center
The motor rotor can be pulled from its magnetic center by the
equipment it is coupled to. That is, the driven equipment may
produce a force across the coupling that attempts to either push or
pull the motor rotor from its magnetic center. In either case, the
magnetic field will try to force the rotor back to its magnetic cen-
ter, while the other force tries to force it away from the magnetic
center. This force imbalance often results in the motor rotor surg-
ing back and forth, pounding the thrust bearing of the driven
equipment.
This problem is easily identified, and easily cured. The motor
should be stopped and disconnected from the coupling of the
driven equipment. The motor is started and allowed to reach full
Misalignment of Machine Shafts
Force from
Magnetic Force Driven Equipment


Motor Rotor Operating
Out of Its Magnetic Center
Figure 7-13. Rotor Operating of f its Magnetic Center
speed. Using a piece of chalk or a felt-tip marker, mark the shaft
where it protrudes from the bearing housing. Shut off the motor
and observe it as it coasts to a stop. Note the movement (if any)
of the mark on the shaft. If the mark moves either in or out, the
magnetic center and the gravitational center are not the same.
The bearings or the assembly of the motor should be in-
spected. Unless specifically designed for operation other than
level, the motor should be placed in service in a nearly level po-
sition. If it is far off of level, the motor should be leveled and
corrections made to the position of the driven equipment so that
proper alignment can be achieved without moving the motor from
a near-level position.
Care should be exercised to assure that the re-assembly of the
coupling between the motor and the driven equipment leaves the
motor shaft in its magnetic center position. Couplings with float
should be assembled so that the motor shaft has its mark in the
center of the movement.
After the equipment is properly assembled and aligned, re-
start the equipment an observe the position of the motor’s marked
shaft.
SUMMARY
In general, the best indicator of misalignment is the high
axial vibration. As a guide, anytime the axial vibration is at least
70% of the radial vibration (either horizontal or vertical), misalign-
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
ment should be suspected.
Phase analysis is useful in the final determination of the exact
cause of the high axial vibration. If phase readings taken on both
outboard bearings of a machine indicate that the bearing housings
are vibrating in phase with one another; and the same is true for
the second machine; and a notable phase shift is seen when taking
readings across the coupling, the source of the axial vibration is
somewhere in between. The coupling or misalignment is obvi-
ously suspect. If a phase shift is noted between the two bearings
of the same machine, a bent shaft should be suspect.
In following chapters, several precise methods for alignment
of machine shafts are presented. In addition, several supplemen-
tary considerations for alignment are discussed. These include
alignment of equipment trains, alignment of equipment with
drive shafts and alignment of U-joint types of couplings. Thermal
growth considerations are also presented.
Advanced Machine Alignment

Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter
Advanced Advanced
Advanced Advanced Advanced
Machine Alignment Machine Alignment
Machine Alignment Machine Alignment Machine Alignment
INTRODUCTION
P P
P P
P
recision alignment of equipment shafts to one another is
critical in extending the useful life of various machine com-
ponents, and in preventing catastrophic failures. The two
most common sources of machine vibration are misalignment and
unbalance. Often these two sources will account for over 90% of
all machine problems occurring in any given plant.
During the alignment process, many sources of machine un-
balance can be detected and corrected. Thus, a complete under-
standing of precision alignment and an understanding of the
sources of machine unbalance are critical skills to the plant repair-
man. The topic of unbalance has been covered, but will be dis-
cussed during the alignment presentations.
The first method of alignment that will be presented is an
advanced version of the commonly known Rim and Face method.
Both graphical and analytical solutions to the alignment process
will be presented. Thermal growth and other machine consider-
ations will be discussed in detail. In the following chapter, the
reverse indicator method of precision alignment will be discussed
in detail.
Often equipment manufacturers provide tolerances for align-
ment of their equipment. Usually this is in the form of +/- so
many mils parallel offset and +/- so many mils angularity. The
very word tolerance indicates a willingness to accept or tolerate
some misalignment. In this text, methods will be detailed to at-
tempt to align equipment to exactly zero tolerance.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
In addition, methods for compensating for thermal growth,
and for checking and correcting running alignment will be dis-
cussed. This will assure the equipment is precisely aligned once it
has stabilized at operating temperatures.
OVERVIEW
Misalignment of two machine shafts can be parallel offset,
angular, or a combination of both. In addition, the misalignment
can be in the horizontal plane, the vertical plane, or both planes.
Generally, most situations will be a combination of all the above.
However, when the problem is attacked one step at a time, the
solution is relatively simple.
Regardless of the method of alignment to be employed, it is
important to examine the equipment to determine which machine
will remain stationary, and which machine(s) will be moved. This
selection is often influenced by such things as connected piping or
fan blades, which must remain, centered in a shroud. In general,
the driver is usually the adjustable piece of equipment, since it
generally has less constraints attached, such as piping. Once the
stationary piece of equipment has been identified, several impor-
tant checks must be performed to assure a proper alignment.
First, pumps and compressors, especially those with a main-
tenance history of bearing or seal problems, should have their
piping taken loose to assure it is not in a strain. If it requires ex-
cessive force to re-connect, piping modifications should be consid-
ered. Here is another example for the need to keep and maintain
informative maintenance records. Once the piping has been in-
spected, there will be no need to recheck its alignment unless
some system changes are made. Later, it will become obvious that
other information about the alignment will be beneficial in future
alignment attempts.
Fans should be inspected to assure they are centered within
their shrouds. Aerodynamic forces resulting from improper cen-
tering can lead to excessive vibrations and premature component
failure. In addition, all blades should be inspected for buildup of
Advanced Machine Alignment
foreign material, and to assure they are all set to the same and
correct pitch.
Next, the stationary machine should be checked to assure it
is near level. This is more critical in certain types of equipment,
but should be considered for all rotating machinery. This will as-
sure that the adjustable piece of equipment starts out on a level
plane, and should allow for a minimum of shims being required
to bring the two pieces of equipment into alignment.
ELECTRIC MOTORS
In the case of electric motors, being out of level can result in
the rotor surging along its axis. Since some electric motors do not
have thrust bearings, the resulting pounding must be absorbed in
the coupling or the thrust bearing of the driven equipment. This
surging results from the gravitational center of the rotor being
different than the magnetic center. The rotor continually hunts for
the position it wants to run in. This manifests itself in high axial
vibrations. The phase and frequency of these vibrations may or
may not prove to be synchronous.
This condition is not difficult to determine. Use chalk or a felt
marker and draw a line where the motor’s shaft exits the bearing
housing. Disconnect and secure the coupling, and briefly run the
motor. Allow the motor to coast to a stop undisturbed. Inspect the
mark. It should be in the same location as when the motor was
running. If it has moved either in or out, there may be a problem
with the gravitational center. In the case where the motor was
moved to align it with the stationary equipment, the stationary
equipment must be re-leveled.
SHIMS
To assure a precision alignment, the feet or hold-down bolt
pads of the equipment must be clean and free from rust, dirt, and
oil. In addition, it is wise to remove all old shims and inspect
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
them. Often, equipment has been aligned using any material
available, such as soft drink cans, galvanized sheet metal, tin cans,
and other scrap metal. Obviously, this is undesirable and must be
discarded, and the proper shim material used. Regardless of the
type of shim material to be used, all shims must be miked to
verify their thickness. All cut or stamped out shims should be
carefully inspected for burrs that can distort their thickness. The
use of brass or some of the newer plastic shims is highly recom-
mended.
One final caution about shims: The use of excessive numbers
of shims can cause uneven crush each time the machine hold-
down bolts are tightened. This will result in different indicator
readings and create many problems in the alignment process. It is
therefore recommended that no more than three shims are placed
under any machine foot. This may require machining a plate of a
given thickness for each foot, but the dividends will be proper
alignment and greatly extended equipment life.
Once the shims have been cleaned (or replaced) and the
machine feet and base plate have been cleaned, re-torque the hold
down bolts on the stationary machine to the proper tension. The
use of a torque wrench is highly recommended to assure not only
the proper preload, but to assure all bolts are tightened the same,
and that any subsequent re-tightening will place the same amount
of crush on the shims.
SOFT FEET
The first step is to assure the stationary machine is sitting
squarely on its foundation or base plate, and is supported equally
on all feet. A condition known as soft feet can cause internal mis-
alignment of the machine and lead to premature failures. Check-
ing for soft feet is a relatively simple task. Once the shims have
been removed, the machine feet have been cleaned and inspected,
and all hold-down bolts are properly torqued, loosen one hold
down bolt at a time. Use either a feeler gauge or a properly
mounted dial indicator to check the amount of movement or the
Advanced Machine Alignment
gap under the foot.
Re-torque the hold-down bolt and move to the next one.
Draw a simple sketch of the machine, and record the movement
or gap for each foot. All feet should exhibit about the same move-
ment or gap. If the difference is more than 2 mils, add the proper
amount of shims under the feet with the excessive movement, so
that all are the same. Once this has been completed, the work on
the stationary machine is completed, except for some checks for
potential sources of unbalance. This procedure should now be
performed on the adjustable machine. See the appendix section for
additional details.
Regardless of the alignment method to be employed, it is
highly recommended that the vertical alignment be corrected first.
This will allow the machine to be moved horizontally without
disturbing the vertical alignment. If the horizontal alignment were
corrected first, moving the machine in the vertical plane would
most likely disrupt the horizontal alignment.
.005”
Figure 8-1. Using a Feeler Gauge to Measure for Soft Feet
TORQUING
It is imperative that hold-down bolts be torqued each time
they are tightened. This not only assures the bolts are not too loose
or too tight, but also will provide a constant crush on the shims.
Uneven tightening or tightening to different clamping forces can
cause false readings during an alignment process.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Each grade of fastener has specific limits based on the
strength of the material it is manufactured from. In general, indus-
trial fasteners used as hold-down bolts, will normally be either
grade 5 or grade 8. These fasteners are identified by the number
of radial lines present on their heads. Grades 2 and below have no
markings. Grade 5 has three lines and grade 8 has six lines.
GRADE 2 GRADE 5 GRADE 8
Figure 8-2. Determining Bolt Grade
Due to their poor characteristics, grade 2 bolts are seldom
used in industrial applications. It is very important that the fas-
tener is properly identified and that it is properly torqued to the
specifications for that particular bolt.
As an example, a 1-1/4 inch bolt with 7 threads per inch has
a tensile stress area of .9646 square inches. Table 8-1 reflects the
various properties for grade 2, 5 and 8 bolts.
Table 8-1. Properties of Various Grade Fasteners
————————————————————————————————
GRADE CLAMP FORCE TORQUE
(lbs.) (Ft.-lbs.)
————————————————————————————————
2 19,176 – 28,719 300 - 450
5 43,023 – 64,535 672 – 1,008
8 69,768 – 104,652 1,090 – 1,635
————————————————————————————————
Table 8-1 reflects the danger of selecting the wrong grade
fastener for an application. If a grade 2 fastener were used, and
torqued as if it were a grade 5 fastener, it would fail prior to reach-
Advanced Machine Alignment
ing the minimum torque value of the grade 5. If the grade 2 fas-
tener were torqued to its maximum, it would produce a clamping
force of only 67% of the minimum clamping force of the grade 5
fastener.
Most often, fastener manufacturers state the recommended
torque value for clean, dry threads. Any lubricant or debris on the
threads will greatly effect the torque value.
A very small amount of oil on the threads will reduce the
friction significantly—enough to reduce the recommended torque
by about 15% to 25%. Some of the newer Teflon- or Molybdenum-
based dry type lubricants can reduce the torque required by as
much as 50%. Often, zinc-plated fasteners can be found in indus-
trial applications. This plating will reduce the amount of required
torque by 15%.
Table 8-2 illustrates the tensile strength for various grades of
fasteners.
Table 8-2. Properties of Various Grade Fasteners
————————————————————————————————
TENSILE
GRADE MATERIAL STRENGTH (psi)
————————————————————————————————
2 Low carbon 74,000
5 Medium - carbon, tempered 120,000
8 Medium - carbon, tempered & quenched 150,000
————————————————————————————————
If a fastener is subjected to excessive torque, which stresses
the fastener beyond its elastic limit, there is a necking down of the
material. That is, the bolt has a permanent offset or stretch and has
a reduced cross-sectional area.
Figure 8-3. Reduced Cross-sectional Area Due to Over Torquing
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Although bolts often fail in the thread area, since this is the
minimum cross-sectional area and also an area of stress concentra-
tion, Figure 8-3 shows an exaggerated effect of over torquing.
Using 72% of the minimum tensile strength as a limit, the 1-
1/4 inch grade 8 fastener with a cross-sectional area of .9646 and
a tensile strength of 150,000 psi would safely produce a clamping
force of 104,209 pounds. If this fastener were stressed beyond its
elastic limit such that there was a reduction in its diameter of .15
inches, its effective cross-sectional area would be reduced to .7212
square inches, and its clamping force limit would be reduced to
77,844 pounds, or 74.7% of its original effectiveness.
A table of recommended torque values is provided in the
appendix section. Always use the proper grade fastener and fol-
low the equipment manufacturer’s recommended torque values.
The table of torque values in the appendix is provided as a general
guide only.
COUPLINGS
When utilizing this method of alignment, it is not necessary
to disassemble or remove the coupling. However, a complete in-
spection of the coupling is highly recommended. The coupling
and its associated components are potential sources for machine
unbalance. Refer to Figure 2-8 for potential sources of coupling
unbalance.
First, inspect all the coupling bolts to assure they are all the
same length, diameter and grade, and that they all have the same
number of nuts and washers. Second, inspect the keys and key-
ways of the coupling, driver, and driven equipment. Most equip-
ment manufacturers balance their rotating assemblies with a full
half key in place. That is they completely fill the key way with key
material, but only to the surface of the shaft or bore. If equipment
is assembled with a full-length, full-height key or a full-height
partial-length key, unbalance may be introduced into the machine.
Although this may seem like splitting hairs, recall from the
examples in Chapter 2 that it is the seemingly minor things that
Advanced Machine Alignment
can cause major problems. Large and obvious defects are usually
corrected when they are detected. However, the smaller seemingly
insignificant things are too often ignored.
THE ALIGNMENT FIXTURE AND BAR SAG
One of the first steps in any alignment process is to deter-
mine how to set up a fixture that will allow you to take the re-
quired measurements. In aligning two shafts, the readings are
taken from the stationary shaft to the adjustable shaft, across the
coupling. Always mount the fixture to read from the STATION-
ARY equipment to the ADJUSTABLE equipment!
Once you have set up a suitable fixture to allow attaching the
two dial indicators to read a rim and a face reading across the
coupling, the fixture should be removed without disturbing the
distances being measured. Prior to removing the fixtures, their
exact location should be marked on the shafts, so they can be
reinstalled in the same location.
Rim Indicator Reads
Plus Bar Sag @
12 O’clock
Rim Indicator Reads
6 O’clock
Set to Zero @
Figure 8-4. Measuring Bar Sag
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
The fixture is now attached to a rigid pipe or shaft, and the
bar sag can be measured. Bar sag is very important in any preci-
sion alignment technique. Not compensating for bar sag can create
errors sufficient to void the best alignment process. It should be
noted that the error created by not properly compensating for bar
sag is multiplied over the length of the machine. Thus an error of
2.5 mils over a 12" distance becomes an error of 11.7 mils on a
machine foot 56" away.
To measure the bar sag, the pipe with the fixture attached is
rotated so that the rim indicator is in the bottom or 6 o’clock
position. The indicator is then set to indicate zero.
The entire fixture and pipe are now rotated to the top or 12
o’clock position and the indicator read. It will indicate a plus (+)
reading which is the bar sag. The bar sag must be recorded on the
alignment form for future reference.
The fixture should now be re-attached to the machine in the
12 o’clock position. By leaving the rim indicator set to the (+) bar
sag reading, no further compensation will be required for bar sag.
Always assure the rim indicator is set to the (+) bar sag when it
is in the 12 o’clock position.
BASIC MACHINE MEASUREMENTS
The next step is to measure the machine distances. As with all
measurements, care should be exercised to measure the distances
as accurately as possible. The most critical measurement is the
diameter traced by the face indicator as it is rotated around the
machine. This distance should be measured to within ±1/8 of an
inch.
Normally, it is easier to rotate the fixture so that the face
indicator is in the 3 o’clock or 6 o’clock position, then measure
from the center of the shaft to the center of the indicator stem, and
multiply the measured distance by two. This distance becomes the
A distance on the alignment work sheets.
Next the distances to the hold-down bolts are measured.
Advanced Machine Alignment
Generally, these distances should be measured to the nearest 1/4
of an inch. These distances are measured from the center of the
stem of the rim indicator to the center of the hold-down bolt.
A carpenter’s square is useful in transferring these measure-
ments to the machine centerline, where the measurements are
more easily taken. The distance to the adjustable machine’s near
foot is the B distance and the distance to its far foot is the C dis-
tance.
Some machines have more than four feet. In this event, mea-
sure and record the distance from the near foot to the remaining
feet that are located between the near and far feet, and record the
values and assign a label to each additional foot location.
The distances to the feet of the stationary machine should
also be measured for future reference, or in the event that thermal
growth will be considered. The topic of thermal growth will be
covered later.
All of the measured distances should be recorded on a simple
sketch of the machine, or on forms similar to those contained in
the appendix. These distances will be scaled and used for the
graphical solution to the alignment. They will also be used in the
simplified calculator method and can be input into a computer
alignment program.
STATIONARY
Machine A ADJUSTABLE
Machine
B
C
NOTE: “A” is the diameter traced by the face indicator.
Figure 8-5. Basic Machine Measurements
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
ABOUT INDICATOR READINGS
Since two points determine a straight line, the objective in
any alignment process is to locate two points on the centerline of
the adjustable machine, to determine its relative position. Once
these two points are located, with respect to the stationary ma-
chine centerline, the required movement to align the two shafts is
easily determined.
ADJUSTABLE
STATIONARY
Figure 8-6. Locating the Centerline of the Adjustable Shaft
Locating the two points can be accomplished by either ob-
taining two rim readings, or by obtaining a rim reading and a face
reading. The two rim reading method is referred to as the reverse
indicator method, and the latter is referred to as the rim and face
method.
Rim
Face
Figure 8-7. Nomenclature of Shaft Readings
Referring to Figure 8-8, the distance b is the height of the
bracket above the centerline of the stationary shaft. At point 0, the
dial indicator would be set to the plus bar sag, but ignoring bar
sag, it is set to zero.
Advanced Machine Alignment
traveled by the indicator stem is 2b. The indicator is now at point
by two.
Figure 8-8. Geometry of a Rim Reading
stationary shaft is lower than the adjustable shaft. Thus, if the
stationary shaft is lower than the adjustable shaft, the adjustable
shaft must be higher than the stationary shaft.
A
2
1
b
b
2b
T
I
R

0
C
L
As the shafts are rotated 180 degrees, the vertical distance
1. The distance 1 to 2 is the total reading obtained from the dial
indicator.
Since the total indicator reading (TIR) was a result of a ver-
tical change of 2b, a vertical change of b must equal a reading of
the TIR/2. This is why all rim and bore readings must be divided
The nature of a dial indicator is such that as the stem moves
out from the body, the dial reads in the negative direction. In Fig-
ure 8-8, the indicator stem moves outward from point 1 to point
2 recording a negative reading. Since the indicator is actually
mounted on the stationary shaft, the reading is stating that the
Anytime a reading is changed from one shaft to the other, its
algebraic sign must be changed. Since the reading is taken on the
adjustable shaft, and the position of the adjustable shaft with re-
spect to the stationary shaft is required, its sign is changed. This
is why rim readings have their algebraic sign changed.
These methods of correcting the indicator readings will be
used in both the rim and face and reverse indicator alignment
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
processes. They are discussed in more detail later in this and the
following chapters.
In Figure 8-9, the distance A is the diameter traced by the face
indicator, reading from the stationary shaft to the adjustable shaft.
The indicator is set to zero at point 1 and rotated 180 degrees to
obtain a reading at point 2. The resulting indicator reading is the
distance 2 to 3. The triangle 1-2-3 can now be constructed. Note
that the angles c are 90 degrees, and since the sum of the angles
of a triangle equals 180 degrees, angles a plus b must equal 90
degrees.
If a line 4 to 5 were laid out with a length A’ which is equal
in length to A, and parallel to the line 2 to 3, the sum of the angles
formed at point 4 must equal 180 degrees. Since the angle formed
from lines 1 to 2 and 4 to 5 is 90 degrees, angle c, and the angle
formed from lines 1 to 2 and 4 to 6 must be equal to angle a, and
the angle formed by lines 4 to 5 and 4 to 6 must equal angle b.
Therefore, the two triangles 1-2-3 and 4-5-6 must be equal.
This converts a face reading into a rim reading a distance A
away from the indicator stem along the adjustable machine
centerline. Note that since this reading was taken over the dis-
tance A, and converted to a rim reading A distance along the
centerline, this reading is not divided by two.
Like all readings, when referenced to the stationary shaft, its
algebraic sign must be changed.
7
a
A
5
b
c
A’
c
b
TIR
1
2
a
6
a
c
3
4
Figure 8-9. The Geometry of the Face Reading
Advanced Machine Alignment
A/2
A
Figure 8-10. Basic Alignment Fixtures
A major difference in these two methods of alignment is that
the reverse indicator method takes one reading from the station-
ary shaft to the adjustable shaft, and one reading from the adjust-
able shaft that is referenced back to the stationary shaft. The rim
and face method takes two readings from the stationary shaft to
the adjustable shaft.
This principal difference determines the way the readings are
handled, and the subsequent plotting and calculating of the re-
quired movement. The reverse indicator method requires that
both readings are divided by two, since both are rim readings, and
that the adjustable indicator have its algebraic sign changed to
reference it back to the stationary shaft. The rim and face method
requires that both readings have their algebraic signs changed to
reference back to the stationary shaft, and that the rim reading be
divided by two.
The rim and face method requires that the face reading be
referenced from the rim reading, and is plotted a distance A away
from the rim point, and is marked off vertically from that point
and not from the centerline of the stationary shaft.
Example 8-1
The alignment is to be measured on a machine by both the
reverse indicator and the rim and face methods. The fixtures are
so located and assembled that the A, B, and C distances will re-
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
main the same for both sets of measurements.
A = 10 inches.
B = 22 inches.
C = 45-1/2 inches.
The readings for the reverse indicator method are S = minus
four (–4) and M = zero (0). The rim and face readings are R =
minus 4 (–4) and F = plus two (+2). Plot the two methods and
assure the same movements are indicated.
For the reverse indicator method, both readings are divided
by two and the adjustable machine indicator has its algebraic sign
changed. This yields S = 2 and M = 0. These two points are
marked off on a graph A distance apart. The two points are con-
nected, and this line is extended to intersect two lines representing
the inboard and outboard foot locations. The result is to add 4.5
mils to the inboard foot and 13 mils to the outboard foot.
For the rim and face method, the rim reading is treated ex-
actly as the adjustable reading in the reverse indicator method.
That is, it is divided by two and has its algebraic sign changed.
The face reading simply has its algebraic sign changed. This re-
sults in R = plus two (+2) and F = minus two (–2). The corrected
rim reading is plotted the same as the stationary reading in the
reverse indicator method. A horizontal line is now constructed to
+2
13.0
4.5
0
OB M
IB
S
+2 –2
OB
IB
13.0
4.5
F R
Rim & Face Reverse Indicator




S = –4 M = 0
R = –4 F = +2
Figure 8-11. Plotting the Alignment Results
Advanced Machine Alignment
intersect the face line a distance A away. From this point, the cor-
rected face reading is measured off. Again a line is constructed
passing through these two points and extending through the two
foot locations. The result is identical to the result found in the
reverse indicator method: add 4.5 mils to the inboard foot and 13
mils to the outboard foot.
Both of these methods will be explored in detail in this and
the subsequent chapter.
TAKING INDICATOR READINGS
Once soft feet are corrected, machine measurements taken,
the fixture assembled, and bar sag determined, an initial set of
readings can be taken. Be sure to always rotate both shafts to-
gether (in the event the coupling is not made up), and always
rotate the machine in the direction of normal operation. This is
especially true of equipment that has gears or tilt pad thrust bear-
ings.
Never back up to get a reading. If you rotate the fixture too
far, continue around in the same direction until it lines up. For the
vertical alignment readings, the rim indicator is set to the (+) sag
and the face indicator to zero (0) in the 12 o’clock position. The
shafts are rotated to the 6 o’clock position and a set of readings is
taken. To assure the information is correct, continue to rotate the
shafts until they return to the 12 o’clock position, where the indi-
cators should return to their original readings. If the readings do
not repeat within 1/2 mil, the fixture is not securely mounted or
is not sufficiently ridged.
Prior to any actual alignment corrections, several things must
be performed. As with the stationary machine, the adjustable
machine must have its shims, feet, and base plate inspected and
cleaned. Checks for soft feet should be made as was done for the
stationary machine. On the adjustable machine, this should be
performed with all old shims removed. The amount of shims
under each foot should be measured, verified with a micrometer,
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
and recorded. Generally, these old shims should be discarded, and
the alignment process started from scratch. Once a solid alignment
program is in place in your plant, this may not be required.
VERTICAL ALIGNMENT
When dealing with cut shims (cut from stock), or stamped
shims, extreme care should be exercised to assure no burrs exist.
All shims and shim stock to be used in the alignment process must
be measured with a micrometer to verify their thickness. In addi-
tion, no more than three shims should be placed under any ma-
chine foot. This may require obtaining special shim stock, or
perhaps machining spacers. However, this will eliminate most of
the possibility of uneven shim crush that can destroy any align-
ment attempt.
Properly torque down all hold-down bolts and take an initial
set of readings as outlined previously. As a word of caution, ob-
serve the dial indicators to assure you know which way they
moved. Often, they will start in one direction and then reverse and
read the opposite. A large positive reading can be mistaken for a
small negative reading. Once again, return the indicators to the
starting position to assure the readings repeat. If the numbers
repeat and you rotated the equipment in its normal operational
direction, and you did not go past the 6 o’clock mark and reverse,
you are ready to determine the required vertical corrections.
Some people find the graphical method easier to use than the
calculator, while others prefer the calculator to the graph. How-
ever, it is highly recommended that both methods be used to as-
sure the proper corrections are made. Both methods require only
about 2 to 3 minutes each, once you have mastered them, or at
least lost the fear of them.
Both methods are capable of accuracy of better than 1/10
th
mil, but no one would attempt such an alignment; besides, 1/10
th
shims are hard to find. The point is that accuracy to within ±1 mil
will assure an exact alignment and long equipment life. Be sure
Advanced Machine Alignment
that answers obtained from the graphical method and calculator
method are the same (when rounded off to the nearest mil). Gen-
erally, the calculator method will provide the exact answer, while
the human eye tends to round off the graph, or the pencil point or
straightedge slips slightly.
Regardless of the method employed, when the proper shims
are added and the machine properly torqued, the indicators
should zero in the 6 o’clock position. Often, due to crush, torque,
dirt and other discrepancies, more than one alignment attempt
will be required to obtain zeros.
THE GRAPHICAL METHOD
The first step in the graphical solution is selecting and laying
out the vertical and horizontal scales on the graph. Note that the
graph is a Cartesian coordinate system as studied earlier. Gener-
ally, the vertical scale can be set at one square equals one mil.
Unless the machine is severely misaligned this should be ad-
equate. The horizontal scale should be determined from the ma-
chine measurements. If thermal growth is to be considered, the
scale must be such that both the stationary and adjustable ma-
chines will fit on the graph.
For instance, if the distance from the rim to the stationary
machine’s outboard foot were 48 inches, and the distance from the
rim indicator stem to the outboard foot of the adjustable machine
were 56, then a scale should be determined so that 104 inches
would fit on the graph. Assuming that the graph paper is 8-1/2 by
11 and that the horizontal scale will be laid out on the 11-inch side,
a scale of one inch equals 10 inches could be used.
Starting at the left edge of the graph, a vertical line is drawn
near the edge to represent the outboard foot of the stationary
machine. A symbol representing a machine foot is drawn at the
top of the line, and labeled O.B. for outboard foot. A horizontal
line is drawn halfway up the graph, which represents the final
position of both machine shafts when they are aligned to each
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
other. This line is labeled the final alignment line. Note that if
thermal growth is not to be considered, this line represents the
present location of the stationary machine’s shaft centerline.
Next, using the scale factor (in this case 1:10), measure from
the first vertical line to the location of the rim indicator and draw
another line. This line is labeled the rim indicator line, and a sym-
bol is also drawn at its top. The distance from the outboard foot
to the stem of the rim indicator is 56 inches (“E” distance), and
would be drawn 5.6 inches from the first line.
The location of the other machine feet can now be deter-
mined from the position of the rim indicator line. Measure off and
label the other three machine feet using the B, C and D distances,
and the scale factor. Finally, the distance A is measured off from
the rim indicator line to the right, and its vertical line is drawn
and labeled face indicator. Once again, symbols are used to assist
in identifying each of these lines as shown in Figure 8-12. The
alignment data can now be plotted on the graph.
First, the indicator readings must have their algebraic signs
changed. This is necessary to convert the readings from the adjust-
able machine to the stationary machine. (If X is bigger than Y, then
Y must be less than X.) The rim reading is divided by two, because




Final
Alignment
Line
SCALE
X:1” = 10”→
R
OB
IB
IB
E
D
A
C
B
OB
→ ← ←

Stationary Machine
Adjustable Machine

F










Y:1” = 10 mils ↑
Figure 8-12. Rim & Face Graphical Layout
Advanced Machine Alignment
the nature of a rim reading is such that it measures the offset at the
top and the bottom (double the actual misalignment). This value
can now be plotted on the line representing the rim indicator.
Continuing, if a reading of minus eight (–8) mils is recorded
on the rim indicator, first the algebraic sign is changed and the
value is divided by two. This yields plus four (+) 4 mils. Since the
vertical scale was set at one square equals one mil, the point is
located four squares above the horizontal final alignment line, and
on the rim indicator line. This point is marked and circled.
A horizontal line is now drawn from this point to the same
point on the line representing the face indicator. The point on the
face indicator line has a box drawn around it. The recorded value
of the face indicator is now counted off from this point.
Remember, positive numbers are measured up and negative
numbers are measured down. Assuming that in this case the face
indicator reading was a plus two (+2), changing the sign yields a
minus two (–2). A point two squares below the horizontal line just
drawn represents the face indicator reading. This point is marked
and a circle is drawn around it.
Using a long straightedge, align it so a line can be drawn
through the two-circled points. This line should extend to the
right far enough to cross the adjustable outboard foot line. Label
this line the center of the adjustable machine shaft.
Assume in this case that the A distance is 10 inches and the
B distance is 18 inches. Where this line crosses the feet of the
adjustable machine indicates the amount of shims to be added or
removed. If the adjustable machine centerline crosses the foot line
above the final alignment line, shims must be removed; if it is
below, shims must be added.
The amount of shims to be removed or added is determined
by counting the squares (up or down) from the final alignment line
to the adjustable machine centerline at each of the foot locations. In
our example, the inboard foot would require .5 mil to be removed
and the outboard would require 5.5 mils to be added. Since we are
only to deal with whole mils, the inboard foot would be left as is,
and the outboard foot would have 5 mils of shims added.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
R
OB
IB IB
OB
F
Stationary Machine Adjustable Machine
48
D
E
–2
+4
18
10
+.5
–5.5
→ → ← ←
Final align-
ment line


















Figure 8-13. Rim & Face Graphical Solution
CALCULATOR METHOD
The calculator method is very straightforward, and is best
understood by viewing Figure 8-14. In Figure 8-15, each box rep-
resents a key or combination of keys to be pressed on the calcu-
lator.
Using the distance and indicators discussed in the graphical
method, and substituting the proper values into the calculator
form yields the results shown in Figure 8-15. Note how the graphi-
cal solution and the calculator method yield the same results
when rounded to the nearest mil.
Lines connecting boxes mean to copy the first box exactly
into the next connected box. A plus (+) number in the final boxes
means add shims; a minus (–) means to remove shims. Labels
above the boxes indicate what data to put into that box. For hori-
zontal alignment, a plus (+) means to move the machine to the
left; a minus (–) means to move the machine to the right.
Once the correct amount of shims has been determined,
miked and installed under the proper foot and hold-down
torqued, a second set of readings should be taken, following the
Advanced Machine Alignment
Figure 8-14. Rim & Face Calculator Method for Vertical Alignment
Figure 8-15. Rim & Face Vertical Alignment Solution
exact procedures as outlined in the first run. This will assure that
the correct adjustments have been made. If the second run calls for
additional adjustments, the correct amount of shims should once
again be installed or removed. Certain machines, especially those
with weak or semi-flexible frames, may require three or even four
runs to obtain the exact alignment.
Remember, the amount of torque applied to the hold-down
bolts, the sequence in which they are tightened, small burrs on the
shims, dirt or grit can all influence the final outcome. By paying
attention to the small details and being clean, an exact alignment
can often be made on the first try. Once the fixtures are set up and
the machine is down, and the alignment tools are on site, it takes
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
very little time to make additional adjustments to obtain the exact
desired alignment. This small effort will now pay dividends in
extended equipment life.
Once the vertical alignment is completed, the horizontal
alignment can be tackled. The primary difference in the horizontal
alignment is that the rim indicator is set to zero at the 9 o’clock
position, since bar sag plays no roll in horizontal plane. Zero both
indicators at 9 o’clock and rotate the fixture and shafts to the 3
o’clock position to obtain the readings.
The layout of the graph and the calculator methods is per-
formed exactly as in the vertical alignment. The only difference is
that if the graph or the answer to the calculator method indicates a
plus (+) reading, the foot needs to be moved to the right. If the read-
ing or answer is negative, the foot needs to be moved to the left.
MOVING THE MACHINE
IN THE HORIZONTAL PLANE
Since this is a precision alignment method, banging the feet
with a lead mallet is not the most desirable method to move the
machine in the horizontal plane. However, there are several tech-
niques that will perform well on most machines. Although all of
these methods will not work on a given machine, one should be
adaptable to most situations. With a little thought, you may devise
other practical methods to precisely move the equipment.
1. If the machine is equipped with horizontal bolts, tighten all
jacking bolts snugly against the frame. Using the proper
thickness feeler gauge, loosen the jack bolt on the side the
machine needs to be moved toward, insert the feeler gauge
and run the jack bolt against it, then remove the feeler gauge.
Use the jack bolt on the opposite side to move the machine.
2. Mount dial indicators on the feet of the machine, to measure
the amount of movement at each foot location, on either side
of the machine. Move the machine while observing the align-
Advanced Machine Alignment
ment dial indicators positioned in the 3 o’clock position. The
face indicator should go to zero, while the rim indicator
should go to 1/2 its reading.
3. Small machines can be moved using bar type glue clamps. A
come-along and chain hoist can be employed for moving
some large machines. With caution, jacking bars can be used
to pry the machine into position. A small lead mall may be
used to bump a machine into its final position.
Forms for the horizontal alignment are provided in the ap-
pendix.
Regardless of the method employed to physically move the
machine, always assure the movement is measured and con-
trolled. As with the vertical alignment, several adjustments may
be required to achieve the final alignment. When the horizontal
alignment is completed, check the vertical alignment again to as-
sure it was not disturbed. Machines with uneven base plates could
cause slight changes in the vertical alignment during the horizon-
tal alignment process.
Remember, aligning a machine to within “tolerances” is not
the goal of a good maintenance person. The more accurate the
final alignment, the fewer coupling, seal and bearing failures.
THERMAL GROWTH AND HOT ALIGNMENTS
Many machines operate at either hotter or colder tempera-
tures than when they are being aligned. Some refrigeration com-
pressors operate at temperatures below freezing while some gas
compressors may reach over 300°F. Changes in temperature cause
these machines to either grow or shrink, and can distort the align-
ment. For these machines, consideration must be made for ther-
mal growth.
Although most machines do not operate at these extremes,
thermal growth should be considered for all alignment processes.
Once the fundamental understanding of how to compensate for
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
growth or shrinkage is understood, the few extra minutes re-
quired will assure the best possible final alignment.
Metals, like most materials, expand when heated. The
amount they expand is expressed as the coefficient of thermal
expansion. This coefficient is expressed as the change in length per
degree of temperature rise. This is expressed mathematically as:
c = dL/dT (8.1)
By rearranging Equation (8.1) the amount of thermal growth
for a given length (L) can be expressed as:
dL = c × dT × L (8.2)
Equation (8.2) states the change in length is equal to the dif-
ference in temperature times the coefficient of thermal expansion
times the original length.
In general, most steels or cast iron frames have a coefficient
of thermal expansion of about .0063 mils per inch per degree Fahr-
enheit, with aluminum and bronze being about twice that amount.
Table 8-3 lists the coefficient of expansion in mils per inch per
degree Fahrenheit, for some common metals for use between 32°F
and 212°F.
Table 8-3. Coefficients of Expansion
————————————————————————————————
COEFFICIENT OF
MATERIAL EXPANSION
————————————————————————————————
Soft Forged Iron .0063
Cast Iron .0059
Soft Rolled Steel .0063
Hardened Steels .0056
Nickel Steel .0073
Aluminum .0094
Bronze .0100
————————————————————————————————
Advanced Machine Alignment
Although these are not the exact coefficients of expansion for
all steels and various alloys, they are close enough to provide
solutions that will assure equipment is in exact alignment when it
reaches operating temperatures.
Example 8-2
If a bar of soft rolled steel 12 inches long at 60°F is heated to
300°F, how long would the bar be?
Step 1. Using Equation (8-2) and finding the thermal growth co-
efficient from Table 8-3, the growth is .0063 × (300–60) × 12 = 18
mils. Therefore, the bar would be 12.018 inches long.
There are several ways to compensate for thermal growth:
1. Use the thermal offset provided by equipment manufacturer.
2. Calculate anticipated thermal growth at each foot.
3. Take a set of hot readings.
Of these methods, the third choice is by far the most desir-
able. It is accomplished by first aligning the equipment cold. That
is, the machinery is cooled to ambient temperature. Prior to re-
moving the alignment fixtures, their exact location is marked on
the machine to assure they can be placed as close as possible to
their original position. The machine is then placed on line and
allowed to heat soak and stabilize at operating temperatures.
A sure sign of thermal growth problems is when a machine’s
vibration level increases with time after a cold start up. This is an
indication that the unit is growing out of alignment.
After the machine has stabilized, it is shut down and the
alignment fixture attached as soon as possible. A set of readings is
taken in the same manner as with the cold alignment. Most equip-
ment will require a considerable time to cool off, so there is ad-
equate time to obtain a set of hot readings.
These hot readings can now be plotted over the original cold
alignment graph, and the calculator method can be performed. If
the machine experienced thermal growth or shrinkage, the results
will indicate how many shims to add or remove. Of interest is the
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
fact that when the machine is aligned in the future, it will need to
be set exactly opposite, and by the same amount, as is indicated
by these calculations. To do this precisely, the desired final indica-
tor readings are required. That is, we do not want to set the ma-
chine at zero/zero when cold, but rather at some offset to
compensate for the thermal growth.
If you are using the hot reading method, the final desired
cold indicator readings are exactly opposite from the hot readings.
This is best understood by studying the calculator method shown
in Figure 8-16.
If you are working with known growth at the feet, either
measured or provided by the manufacturer, then determining the
desired readings from the graph is very straightforward:
R and F are the mils and direction measured from the final
alignment line to the cold adjustable machine shaft centerline, at
the rim and face indicator lines. Draw a line where the center of
the adjustable machines shaft should be when cold. Next, simply
count the direction and number of mils at each indicator line.
On the rim and face indicator lines, measure the
distance and direction (±) from the stationary
machine cold alignment line to the adjustable
F
R


machine cold alignment line, and enter below.


Change ±
Change ±




Plus
Times 2



F

R




Desired Final


Rim TIR Toral Indicator Reading Face TIR
Figure 8-16. Determining the Final Desired Indicator Readings
Advanced Machine Alignment
An alternate method would be to measure the temperature of
each supporting leg of both pieces of equipment, while the unit is
operating at normal conditions. It is suggested that the tempera-
ture be taken every two inches from the base plate to the
machine’s shaft center line and the average temperature calcu-
lated for each foot location. This is due to the fact that most equip-
ment supports are not of uniform thickness from their top to their
bottom, and the fact that some heat is being dissipated along their
length. These average temperatures along with the height from
the base plate to the machine’s centerline can be used to calculate
the amount of anticipated thermal growth.
Even though this method is fairly accurate, it still is quite
involved. Even using the manufacturer’s offsets may not be as
accurate as using the hot readings from the actual machine. Your
equipment operates in a unique environment and under unique
conditions. It’s better to measure the actual growth rather than
relying on the equipment manufacturer’s estimated values.
Example 8-3
An electric motor is used to drive a chilled water pump. The
pump was selected as the stationary piece of equipment. With the
unit at normal operating conditions, temperature measurements
were taken on the pump support legs and frame for thermal
growth considerations. The ambient temperature during align-
ment was recorded at 78 degrees, and the unit had been down
long enough to cool to room temperature. The following measure-
ments were recorded:
Machine distances:
A = 12"; B = 16"; C = 36"; D = 14"; E = 56";
Pump Inboard leg height = 17";
Pump Outboard Leg height = 22"
Pump average temperatures (running) previously recorded:
Inboard = 106°F;
Outboard = 138°F;
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Vertical indicator readings:
Rim = –4 mils;
Face = 3 mils
What corrections should be made to assure proper alignment
in the vertical direction with the pump at normal operating con-
ditions?
Step 1. After a complete inspection for potential causes of unbal-
ance, and determining the motor would be the adjustable piece of
equipment, the equipment was checked for level and soft feet. The
pump was also checked for soft feet and all shims were removed,
cleaned and re-installed. After cleaning under all feet, the equip-
ment was re-torqued and the first set of readings was taken. Both
the graphical and the calculator methods were employed to assure
the correct movement was achieved.
Step 2. Both readings have their algebraic signs changed and the
rim reading is divided by two and plotted. A horizontal line is
now drawn to the face indicator line and the face reading marked
off from this point. The location of the face indicator reading is
also circled. A line is now drawn from the two circled points on
the indicator lines, through the lines representing the pump’s feet.
The distance to the cold alignment line is now measured.
In this example, the inboard foot shows a minus two (–2) and
the outboard foot shows a minus seven (–7). If no thermal growth
considerations were to be made, these readings would represent
the amount of shim material to be added to each foot.
Step 3. Next, the amount of thermal growth (shrinkage) needs to
be calculated. The pump case and support legs are constructed
from cast iron with a coefficient thermal expansion of .0063 mills
per inch per degree Fahrenheit. Using formula (8.2); Inboard: CL
= .0063 × 17 × (106 – 78) = 2.99 mils; Outboard: CL = .0063 × 22 ×
(138 – 78) = 8.3 mils.
These answers are rounded to the nearest .001 inch or 1 mil,
Advanced Machine Alignment
F R
OB
IB
OB
IB




–2
–7
Cold align-
ment line
• •



Figure 8-17. Cold Alignment Plot
based on practical shim thickness. The inboard would be thus be
3 mils and the outboard 8 mils. These two points are now marked
off from current centerline and located on each of the inboard and
outboard foot lines.
The two new points on the foot location lines are used to
construct the hot alignment or final alignment line. This line rep-
resents where the centerline of the pump’s shaft needs to be lo-
cated when cold so that it will grow to the cold alignment line
when it reaches operating temperature. By counting from these
two points back to the cold alignment line, it is seen that both the
inboard foot and the outboard foot need 1 mil of shim material
removed.
Note that the same results could be obtained by adding the
cold readings to the calculated thermal growth. For the inboard
foot, the cold alignment correction was a minus two mils (–2), and
the thermal growth was three mils (+3). Their sum is plus one mil
(+1); thus, one mil of shim material is required. The outboard for
cold correction was minus seven mils (–7), and the calculated ther-
mal growth was plus eight (+8) mils. Their sum is plus one mil
(+1), which is the same as measured on the graph.
Next, the actual indicator readings that will be present when
the pump is misaligned for thermal growth need to be deter-
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
mined. This is accomplished by laying out the indicator positions
in reverse.
By constructing the horizontal line from the point where the
hot alignment line crosses the rim indicator line, both the rim and
face readings can be measured. Simply count or measure the dis-
tance from the indicator locations back to the cold alignment line.
In this example the rim reads plus one mil (+1) and the face reads
zero. When the face reading is zero, the two shafts are parallel
R
IB IB
F
▲ ▲

Cold align-
OB
OB
Hot align-
ment line


ment line
center line
–2
–7
• •




Current
Figure 8-18. The Hot Alignment Line
R
F




IB IB
OB
OB
Cold align-
ment line


Hot align-
ment line
center line
–2
–7
• •




Current
Figure 8-19. Determining the Indicator Readings
Advanced Machine Alignment
offset, and there is no angularity.
Continuing working backwards, the rim reading needs to be
multiplied by two, and both readings need their algebraic signs
changed. This results in a final set of indicator readings of plus
two mils (+2) for the rim indicator and zero (0) for the face indi-
cator. These readings should be recorded in the maintenance file
for future reference.
Taking the keystrokes from Figure 8-14 and putting them into
equation form yields:
FB
+
R
IB = ± 1 *
(8.3)
A 2
FC
+
R
OB = ± 1 *
(8.4)
A 2
Where:
F = Face indicator reading.
R = Rim indicator reading.
A = Diameter traced by the face indicator.
B = Distance from the rim indicator stem to the center of the
inboard hold-down bolt.
C = Distance from the rim indicator stem to the center of the
outboard hold-down bolt.
Substituting into these formulas, the results for Example 8-3
yield minus two mils (–2) for the inboard foot and minus seven
mils (–7) for the outboard foot. Once again the calculated thermal
growth is simply added to these readings to obtain the final align-
ment line.
Using Figure 8-16 and converting the key strokes into equa-
tions yield:
R
f
= –R × 2 (8.5)
F
f
= –F + R 8.6)
Where:
R
f
= Final desired rim indicator reading.
F
f
= Final desired face indicator reading.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Substituting the readings from Example 8-3 into Equations
(8.5) and (8.6) yields plus two mils (+2) for the rim indicator and
zero (0) for the face indicator.
Either method can be employed to achieve good results. In
general, the calculator method is slightly more accurate. The
larger the scale chosen for the graph, the better the accuracy.
However, it is always advisable to work both methods to assure
there is no mistake.
When approaching an alignment problem, break it down into
simple parts. If an equipment train consisted of a steam turbine,
gearbox, centrifugal pump, a second gearbox, and a diesel engine,
the problem is no more complex than a simple pump and electric
motor. Establish the stationary piece of equipment, and then align
the next piece to it. It then becomes the stationary piece of equip-
ment for the subsequent alignment. Continue until all the equip-
ment is aligned. This will work even if the chosen stationary
equipment is in the center of the train of equipment.
EQUIPMENT WITH DRIVESHAFTS
Dealing with equipment with driveshafts, such as aligning a
cooling tower fan, is also a straightforward process. The fixture is
first set up across the coupling from the motor to the drive shaft,
and readings are taken. Next, the fixture is moved and placed on
the drive shaft to read across the coupling to the gearbox. Again
readings are taken.
In the first case, the B and C distances were from the gear box
feet to the rim indicator stem, while it was mounted to the motor
shaft. In the second case, the B1 and C1 distances are from the gear
box feet to the new indicator location. By superimposing these
two graphs, the total correction required is shown. Simply count
or measure the corrections for each foot and add them together.
The result is the actual correction required. Thus, you only need to
make one corrective move for both couplings.
In Figure 8-20, if the first run inboard correction is plus five
Advanced Machine Alignment
F
R
B
OB
IB
IB
F
R
OB
C
A’
B’
C’
Run #2
Run #1
A
Figure 8-20. Aligning Equipment with Driveshafts
mils (+5) and the second run inboard correction is minus five mils
(–5) the result is zero. Thus the inboard foot is ok. If the first run
outboard correction was plus nine mils (+9) and the second run
outboard corrections is minus one mil (–1), the result is to add
eight mils (+8) to the outboard feet.
U-JOINT COUPLINGS
One word of caution: Some companies have changed to U-
joints in the cooling tower fan drive shafts. Often, maintenance
personnel attribute premature failure of these U-joints to corro-
sion, because after one fails, the needles and cup are filled with
rust. This may be due to improper alignment. A U-joint must be
misaligned a proper amount to assure proper lubrication of the
needle bearings. Too much misalignment will cause large velocity
fluctuations and uses excessive horsepower; too little, and the U-
joint bearings will fail due to a lack of lubrication.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
in 12 inches
1 Inch drop
Figure 8-21. Proper Alignment of a U-Joint Coupling
The proper misalignment for most applications is 4 to 6 de-
grees. Using the mid-point value of 5 degrees, the drive shaft
would need to rise or drop 1.04 inches per foot of length. This
should be rounded off to one inch per foot of drive shaft length.
This alone does not excuse the use of precision alignment, since
the misalignment need be only in a single plane. This means that
the horizontal alignment should still read zero/zero.
SPOOL PIECES
Frequently, equipment trains are coupled using a spool piece
between the two pieces of equipment.
Spool pieces can be measured across just as though they were
a coupling, provided you can build a large enough indicator
bracket. Since the bar sag is measured and compensated for, the
amount of droop in the fixture is of no concern.
In the case where the spool piece is too long, it is aligned in
the same manner as equipment with a driveshaft. That is, two sets
of readings are taken and their sum is used to adjust the align-
ment. See Figure 8-20 for details.
Spool piece
Figure 8-22. Equipment with Spool Pieces
Advanced Machine Alignment
BORE READINGS
Some equipment will need to be aligned using a bore reading
rather than a rim reading. This is found in many large gas tur-
bine/compressor applications. A bore reading is simply an up-
side-down rim reading and can be handled as such in the
alignment process. All that is required is to set the positive (+) bar
sag at 6 o’clock and take the reading at 12 o’clock.
For a rim reading
set to + bar sag
Record the bore
reading
For a bore reading
set to + bar sag
Rotate in
normal
direction
Record the rim
reading
Figure 8-23. Bore Readings
VERTICAL PUMPS
In the case of vertical pumps, the first step is to remove all
old shims, clean the mounting surfaces, and then correct any soft
feet. The angularity is corrected first, and then the parallel offset.
Correcting the angularity is easily accomplished with the
face indicator when using the rim and face method of align-
ment. The pump is viewed from above and labeled as shown in
Figure 8-25.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Figure 8-24. Vertical Pump
1 2
3
4
Figure 8-25. Top View of Vertical Pump Mount
Label the hold-down bolt locations and measure the dis-
tances between them. Set the dial indicator to zero at any of the
locations. Rotate the indicator in the direction of normal operation
and record the readings at the other hold down locations. Find the
largest positive reading. Note: If the highest point was selected as
the start point, zero will be the highest positive reading.
The readings are now adjusted to the highest positive reading
by subtracting the highest positive reading from all readings. The
process is best understood through an example.
Example 8-4
A vertical pump has four hold-down bolt locations which are
labeled as in Figure 8-25. The distances between hold-down bolts
are equal and found to be 14 inches. The diameter traced by the
face indicator is set at 12 inches and the indicator is zeroed at
point 1. The following readings were recorded: 1 (or 0 degrees):
indicator set to 0 mils; 2 (or 90 degrees): –1 mils; 3 (or 180 degrees):
+2 mils; 4 (or 270 degrees): –2 mils. What corrections are required?
Advanced Machine Alignment
Step 1. The readings are now adjusted by selecting the largest
positive reading as zero, and subtracting it from all readings, as
follows: 1 (or 0 degrees): 0 mils – 2 mils = –2 mils; 2 (or 90 de-
grees): –1 mils – 2 mils = –3 mils; 3 (or 180 degrees): +2 mils – 2
mils = 0 mils; 4 (or 270 degrees): –2 mils – 2 mils = –4 mils.
As seen from the above, point 3 was the highest hold-down lo-
cation and the others will be adjusted to the same plane as point 3.
Step 2. Next, the slope is calculated. That is the change over the
diameter A traced by the face indicator. This is used to correct the
readings back to the hold-down locations.
Referring to Figure 8-26, it can be seen that the distances
between the four locations where readings are recorded are ex-
actly A/2 apart in the X and Y directions.
After the readings were corrected, point 3 became the zero
reference point. The slope for the reading from point 3 to point 4
(X direction) is: –4/(A/2) = –4/6 or –.667 mils per inch. Likewise,
the slope from 3 to 2 (Y direction) is thus –3/(A/2) = –3/6 or –.500
mils per inch.
Since the hold-down location 3 is the reference point, all that
remains is to calculate the correction amount for the other loca-
tions. Point 4: 18 * –.667 = –12 mils; point 2: 18 * – .50 = –9 mils;
point 1: is the algebraic sum of points 2 and 4 or –21 mils.
A
A/2 A/2
S
1
2
3
4
X
Y


• •





▲ ▼

Figure 8-26. Correcting the Readings
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Since the rim readings are all in the horizontal plane, no
compensation for bar sag is required. Zero the indicator on one
surface, such as the 1-2 side and take a reading on the opposite
side, 180 degrees away. Set the dial indicator to 1/2 its reading
and move the motor until the indicator reads zero. Repeat this
process for the side 90 degrees from the initial side, the 2-3 side.
Check the final alignment by repeating the readings to assure
the motor is centered over the pump.
THE CATENARY
Some long shafts may exhibit deflection due to their own
weight, or in combination with the weight of a mounted compo-
nent that can affect the alignment process. Perhaps the best way to
demonstrate the potential effect is through examples.
Example 8-5
A large roller is made of steel and is 6 inches in diameter. It
is supported by two bearings that are 12 feet apart. How much
will the center of the shaft sag? How much angular deflection will
be present at the end of the shaft?
Step 1. Steel weighs approximately 480 pounds per cubic foot, so
the weight of the portion of the shaft between the bearings is its
volume times the density W = V × d or W = L × A × d = (12 × π
× (.5)
2
/4) × 480 or approximately 1,131 pounds.
Step 2. The deflection for a solid shaft is:
dx = 5wL
3
/384EI (8.7)
Figure 8-25. A Shaft Deflecting Under its Own Weight
Advanced Machine Alignment
The moment of inertia (I) for a solid shaft is:
I = πd
4
/64 (8.8)
If the modulus of elasticity (E) for steel is assumed to be 30
× 10
6
, and
I = 63.62. The total deflection at the center is dx =
5(1131)(144)
3
/384(30 × 10
6
)(63.62) = .02304 inches.
Step 2. Since the catenary for shafts deflecting due to their own
weight is very flat, the tangent at the bearing location is closely
approximated by a simple triangle. That is, the curvature of the
catenary approaches a straight line from its center to the bearing
location. This slight error will have no effect on the final answer.
The slope of the curve at the bearing is dy/dx or .02304/72 =
.00032. Since the tangent is also defined as the slope at any point,
the arctangent function provides the angle the face of the shaft
makes with the vertical plane. Thus arctangent of .00032 is .0183
degrees.
Step 3. The offset in the face reading due to the deflection of the
shaft is then expressed as dF = d sin(A). Since the diameter (d) is
6 inches, dF = 6 × sin(.0183) = .00192 inches or 1.9 mils. This would
be rounded up to 2 mil offset for the face reading. From this ex-
A




Figure 8-28. The Angle of the Face Due to Deflection of a Shaft
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
ample, it can easily be seen that any alignment process that did
not account for the sag of large or heavy shafts would result in a
poor alignment.
As a side note, good design practice allows for a maximum
shaft deflection of .01 inches per foot of shaft length. In this ex-
ample, the deflection per foot of shaft length is .02304/12 =
0.00192 inches per foot—well within design limits.
Example 8-6
A centrifugal pump has a 2-inch diameter shaft that is
mounted between two bearings 60 inches apart. The rotor element
weighs 448 pounds and is mounted 20 inches from the left-hand
bearing. Assuming the rotor has a uniform weight distribution,
what is the total deflection at the center of the shaft? What is the
face offset required for proper alignment?
Step 1. First the deflection of the shaft due to its own weight is
calculated in the same manner as in Example 8-4. The weight of
the shaft is W = 52.36 pounds. The moment of inertia is .7854, and
the maximum deflection is found to be 0.00625 inches. These an-
swers could easily be looked up in the tables provided in the
appendix section.
Step 2. Now the weight of the rotor must be accounted for. The
sum of the deflection due to the shaft weight and the deflection
due to the concentrated load are added together to obtain the total
deflection.
For a non-central load:
1/2
dx = [W * (c/3)/(E * I * ×’)] * {[c * (×’/3) + c * (c’/3)]
3
}
(8.9)
Where:
c = distance from left-hand bearing to the concentrated
load.
c’ = distance from the right-hand bearing to the concentrated
Advanced Machine Alignment
load.
×’ = c + c’
In this example, ×’ = 60; c = 20; thus c’ must equal 40. Since
I has already been calculated and the weight (W) is given, d× =
[448 * (20/3)/(30000000 * .7854 * 60)] * {[(20 * (60/3) + 20 * (40/
3)]
3
}
.5
= 0.03636 inches or 36.36 mils.
The total deflection is 0.00625 + 0.03636 or 0.042615 inches.
Since half the length of the shaft is 30 inches, the slope at the
bearing is 0.042615/30 or 0.00142. Taking the arctangent of this
slope yields an offset angle of 0.08139 degrees. The sine of this
angle is found to be 0.001420.
Step 3. Multiplying the sine times the diameter gives the face
offset or (2) * .001420 = 0.0028410 inches or 2.8 mils. In this case,
the total deflection per foot of shaft length is 0.0085 inches and is
just within design limits.
This deflection of the stationary shaft is treated the same way
as thermal growth. Since the face offset is 2.8 mils over 2 inches,
this same slope is used to locate the cold alignment line. A line is
drawn from the rim indicator line with a slope of 1.4 mils per inch.
The horizontal line is now the final alignment line for the center
of the adjustable machine. This is best illustrated through an ex-
ample.
Example 8-7
The machine in Example 8-6 is determined to be the station-
ary machine. It was found to have a catenary effect of 1.4 mils per
inch. The adjustable machine has a B distance of 18 inches and a
C distance of 48 inches. The A distance for the face indicator is 10
inches. A rim reading of +10 mils and a face reading of –5 mils was
obtained. What corrections are required?
Step 1. First, a new machine measurement is required, that is the
distance from the stem of the rim indicator to the first bearing of
the stationary machine. This measurement is labeled G, and found
to be 12 inches.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
As shown in Figure 8-29 the cold alignment line is drawn
from the first bearing location of the stationary machine with a
slope of 1.4 mils per inch. This line represents the current position
of the centerline of the stationary machine shaft.
All indicator readings will be measured from this newly con-
structed cold alignment line. This will assure, once the machine is
F R
IB OB
Bearing
Location
IBB







C
B
“Cold”
alignment line
Final
alignment line



A
G
Figure 8-29. Example 8-7 Machine Measurement Layout
F R
IB OB




Bearing
Location
IBB

Slope of
1.4 mils/inch








84 mils
42 mils
48
18
0
▲ ▼ ▲

10
12
Figure 8-30. Centerline of the Stationary Machine’s Shaft
Advanced Machine Alignment
operational and the catenary effect removed, the two shafts will be
in alignment.
As the stationary machine becomes operational, its centerline
will align with the final alignment line. However, while it is at
rest, the adjustable machine must be referenced to its cold, or rest
position.
Step 2. Next, the rim reading is divided by two and has its alge-
braic sign changed. It is then marked off from the current position
of the stationary machine’s shaft centerline. A horizontal line is
drawn from this point to the line representing the stem of the face
indicator. The face reading is now laid off from this new point.
The two readings’ points are now connected with a line that ex-
tends beyond the adjustable machine’s outboard foot line.
The distance from this new line to the final alignment line is
now measured at both foot locations for the adjustable machine.
The magnitude and direction are recorded and found to be plus 3
mils (+3) for the inboard foot and minus 12 (–12) mils for the
outboard foot.
As with all alignment graphs, the positive reading requires
shims to be removed and the negative reading requires shims to
be added. In this example, 3 mils of shims would be removed
from the inboard foot and 12 mils of shims would be added to the
outboard foot.
F R
IB
OB
IBB
Centerline of
0
+3
–12
stationary shaff
Figure 8-31. Final Alignment Requirements
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
50 STEPS TO ACHIEVE PRECISION ALIGNMENT
1. Assure the equipment is locked out and tagged out.
2. Determine which machine will remain stationary.
3. Remove the coupling guard and other obstructions.
4. Inspect coupling bolts, nuts, washers and keys, and re-
pair as required.
5. Remove all old shims from stationary machine and clean
under feet. Discard any old shims that have burrs, are
torn, or are made of materials other than stainless steel,
brass or plastic.
6. Check stationary equipment for soft feet and repair as
required.
7. Level, center and remove any piping or other stresses
from the stationary equipment, if conditions warrant.
8. Use no more than three shims under any foot.
9. Torque all hold-down bolts.
10. Check coupling end float by barring both machines in
the axial direction. Correct if necessary.
11. Remove all shims from the adjustable machine and
clean under its feet.
12. Check adjustable machine for soft feet, and correct if
necessary.
13. Assemble the alignment fixture on the equipment and
mark its location.
14. Measure and record all machine dimensions.
15. Remove fixture and measure and record bar sag.
16. Lay out the basic graph dimensions.
17. Determine if thermal growth will be considered.
18. Re-install fixture on machine, using marks as a guide to
the correct location.
19. Zero the face indicator and set the rim indicator to the
plus bar sag reading at the 12 o’clock position.
20. Rotate equipment to the 6 o’clock position in the normal
direction of operation using caution not to go past the
mark.
Advanced Machine Alignment
21. Observe the indicators as the shafts are rotated, to deter-
mine the direction they move.
22. Take and record readings at the 6 o’clock position.
23. Continue to rotate in the proper direction and verify the
12 o’clock readings.
24. Plot the readings on the graph.
25. Use a calculator to verify the required machine move-
ment.
26. Adjust the machine as required in the vertical plane.
27. Repeat steps 19 through 26 as required.
28. Place the indicators on the left side of the machine, and
zero the indicators.
29. Mark the left side of the machine.
30. Rotate the machine 180 degrees to the right side.
31. Observe the indicators as the machine is rotated.
32. Take and record the indicator readings.
33. Rotate the machine in the proper direction and verify
the left side zero.
34. Plot the readings on the graph.
35. Verify machine movements with the calculator method.
36. Use dial indicators or feeler gauges to measure machine
movement.
37. Use indicators on fixture if necessary, by setting both to
1/2 their readings and moving the machine until both
read zero.
38. Repeat steps 28 through 36 as required.
39. Verify both the vertical and horizontal alignments.
40. Record all soft feet corrections, all shims used, and any
offset for thermal growth.
41. Record the temperature of the equipment at the time of
alignment.
42. Assemble the coupling guard and other required parts
and operate the equipment until it is heat soaked.
43. Shut down equipment and lock and tag out.
44. Remove coupling guard and other necessary parts and
reinstall the fixtures in their original position, using the
marks on the shaft.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
45. Take vertical and horizontal readings as detailed above.
46. Plot the results on the original graph, to determine ther-
mal growth.
47. Make any required adjustments to the machine.
48. Record all final data.
49. Reassemble and run equipment.
50. Measure and record the final vibration levels.
The above 50 steps pertain only to the advanced rim and face
alignment process. In the following chapter, the reverse indicator
method of precision alignment is presented.
Reverse Indicator Alignment

Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter
Reverse Reverse
Reverse Reverse Reverse
Indicator Alignment Indicator Alignment
Indicator Alignment Indicator Alignment Indicator Alignment
INTRODUCTION
I I
I I
I
n the previous chapter, an advanced rim and face alignment
process was examined in detail. In this chapter, a double rim
method known as the reverse indicator method will be dis-
cussed. The alignment processes will be found to be quite similar,
and there will be machines that will be more easily adapted to one
or the other methods. Both methods are capable of accuracy of less
than 1 mil.
As with any alignment process, several preliminary steps
must be performed. The stationary machine must be identified,
and the left side of the equipment designated. Next, the machine
is inspected for level, soft feet, damaged or excessive shims and
for sources of unbalance. Follow the process outlined in the rim
and face method to accomplish these inspections.
The basic difference in these two methods is the types of
readings taken. In the rim and face method, the readings were
both taken from the stationary machine to the adjustable machine.
In the reverse indicator method, one reading is taken from the
stationary machine to the adjustable machine, while the other is
taken from the adjustable machine to the stationary machine. This
is necessary, since both readings are rim readings.
As with the rim and face method, disassembly of the cou-
pling is not necessary, but a close inspection of the coupling and
its components is highly recommended. Once all inspections are
complete, the indicator fixtures should be assembled on the ma-
chine.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Once the indicator fixtures are properly assembled on the
machine, and a trial set of readings taken to assure the fixture
clears the structure when rotated a full 360 degrees, its location on
the two shafts should be clearly marked. The fixtures are now
removed from the machine and placed on a ridged pipe or shaft
to determine bar sag. Note that in this method, both indicators
read a rim value, and thus both indicator fixtures must have their
bar sag accounted for.
BAR SAG
Once again, determining the bar sag is a straightforward
process. The indicators are set to zero in the 6 o’clock position and
rotated to the 12 o’clock position where the bar sag is read. Be sure
to determine the proper bar sag for each indicator fixture. Even
though the two fixtures are assembled the same, they may have
different amounts of sag.
It is doubly important to account for bar sag using this
method of alignment, since both indicator readings are affected.
The indicator fixture is thus assembled so that one indicator
Stationary Machine Adjustable Machine
Rread
Rread
+ bar sag
+ bar sag
Zero indicator
Zero indicator
Figure 9-1. Measuring Reverse Indicator Bar Sag
Reverse Indicator Alignment
is placed on each machine. Figure 9-1 shows how the bar sag is
determined for reverse indicator method.
Once the bar sag values have been determined and recorded,
assure that both indicators are set to the plus bar sag when they
are in the 12 o’clock position. No further action is required to
compensate for bar sag.
The fixtures can now be reassembled to the machine, using
the reference marks as guides. An initial set of readings can now
be taken to assure the fixtures are properly assembled and suffi-
ciently ridged to return the indicators to their plus bar sag read-
ings at 12 o’clock, after being rotated 360 degrees.
MACHINE MEASUREMENTS
Now the machine distances can be measured and recorded.
As with the rim and face method, the A, B, and C distances are
required, and the D and E values if thermal growth is to be con-
sidered. Again the A distance is the most critical and should be
measured to within 1/8". All distances are measured from the
stem of the stationary machine indicator to the respective point.
Note that in this method, the A distance is measured to the stem
of the adjustable indicator. Figure 9-2 shows the machine distances
for this method.
Stationary
Adjustable
Machine
Machine
NOTE: “A” is the distance between the two indicator stems.
A
B
C
Figure 9-2. Reverse Indicator Basic Machine Measurements
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
VERTICAL ALIGNMENT
As with any precision alignment method, the vertical align-
ment should be corrected first. Again, use caution to rotate the
equipment in its normal operation direction, and never back up to
obtain a reading.
Starting with one of the dial indicators at the 12 o’clock po-
sition, and set to its plus (+) bar sag, rotate the machine in its
normal direction of operation to the 6 o’clock position. Be care-
ful to observe the movement of the indicator as it passes
through the 180 degrees of rotation, noting its direction of
travel. The indicator is now read and recorded. Note that the
other indicator is now in the 12 o’clock position and should be
set to its plus (+) bar sag.
Rotate the machine 180 degrees. Bring the first indicator to
the 12 o’clock position where it should return to its plus (+) bar
sag reading. Bring the other to the 6 o’clock position where the
second reading is taken and recorded. Rotate the machine 180
degrees again, and assure the second indicator returns to its
plus (+) bar sag reading at 12 o’clock.
The data can now be transferred to the graph, used in the
calculator method, or input to a computer program.
GRAPHICAL SOLUTION
The graphical method employs the same principles used in
the rim and face method of Chapter 8. A suitable scale for the
vertical and horizontal scales must be determined. Use the same
principles used in the other method, usually 1 mil per inch in
the vertical, and a scale such that the entire machine will fit the
graph.
Remember, all graphical points are measured from the stem
of the stationary machine dial indicator. Starting at the left of
the graph, draw the first vertical line and properly label it the
outboard foot of the stationary machine. Use the scale factor
Reverse Indicator Alignment
and the E distance to locate the stationary machine dial indica-
tor line. Draw and label this line. All other points are now mea-
sured from this line. Figure 9-3 shows the final graph layout.
Final
Alignment
Line
SCALE
X:1” = 10”→
S
OB
IB
IB
E
D
A
C
B
OB
→ ← ←

Stationary Machine
Adjustable Machine



▲ ▼




A
Y:1” = 10 mils
Figure 9-3. Reverse Indicator Graph Layout
Note the similarity of this graph layout with the rim and face
graph. The only two differences are the labeling of the indicator
lines and the way the A distance is measured on the machine.
To plot the data, the stationary indicator reading is divided
by two (remember rim readings are always divided by two in any
method), and then laid off on the stationary indicator line. Re-
member positive numbers are counted up from the cold alignment
line, and negative numbers down. Next, the adjustable indicator
reading is divided by two, and then its algebraic sign is changed.
Again, the sign is changed to transfer the reading back to the sta-
tionary machine. This number is now laid off on the adjustable
indicator line.
A straightedge is used to draw a line connecting these two
points, and extending completely past the adjustable machine’s
outboard foot line. Counting from the intersection of the foot lines
to the cold alignment line determines the amount of required
movement. Again in the vertical alignment, if the line is above the

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
cold alignment line, shims must be removed. If the line is below
the cold alignment line, shims must be added.
Example 9-1
A machine is measured and the following data are recorded:
A = 10, B =18, C = 48, the stationary indicator STIR = + 8, and the
adjustable indicator ATIR = - 4. What adjustments are required to
properly align the adjustable machine to the stationary machine?
Step 1. First, the stationary reading is divided by two, yielding a
plus four (+4) which is laid off four divisions above the cold align-
ment line, along the stationary indicator line. Note that a scale of
one division per mil was chosen for the vertical axis.
Step 2. Next, the adjustable indicator reading is divided by two
and its algebraic sign changed, yielding a plus two (+2). This
value is laid off two divisions above the cold alignment line, along
the adjustable indicator line. Figure 9-4 shows the completed
graph for the example.
Refer to Figure 8-13 to see this same machine aligned using
the rim and face method. Even though the indicator readings were
different, the answer comes out the same. This illustrates that ei-
ther alignment method will yield the same results. The larger the
A
S
IB
IB
Stationary
Machine
Adjustable
Machine
(5.5)
+.5




C
L
C
L
Figure 9-4. Reverse Indicator Example Plot
Reverse Indicator Alignment
scale and the more time taken to assure the drawn lines intersect
the indicator points at their centers, the more accurate the results.
CALCULATOR METHOD
As with the rim and face method, there is a simplified calcu-
lator method. Figure 9-5 shows the key strokes for this solution.
If the same machine measurements are used, and the indica-
tor readings from the reverse indicator example are input, Figure
9-6 shows the results.
The calculation method indicates 0.4 mils to be removed from
the inboard foot and 5.6 mils to be added to the outboard foot.
Both methods indicate the same basic required changes.
The calculator method is slightly more accurate in this case.
If a larger scale were used in the graphical method, the exact same
results would occur. However, adding or subtracting less than 1
mil is not practical, and in this example, 6 mils would be added
to the outboard foot and no change would be made to the inboard
foot.
Viewing the calculator method in equation form:
Figure 9-5. Reverse Indicator Calculator Key Strokes
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Figure 9-6. Reverse Indicator Calculator Results
STIR + ATIR
* B
A
(9.1)
IB = ± STIR
2
STIR + ATIR
* C
A
(9.2)
OB = ± STIR
2
Where:
STIR = the total indicator reading for the stationary machine.
ATIR = the total indicator reading for the adjustable machine.
A, B and C are the machine measurements
HORIZONTAL ALIGNMENT
Once again, the horizontal alignment is performed exactly
the same as the vertical alignment, with the exception that both
indicators are set to zero on the left side or 9 o’clock position. Use
the same cautions and steps outlined for the vertical alignment to
Reverse Indicator Alignment
graph the results and calculate the solution. Again the calculator
should provide an exact solution, while the graph should be
within less than 1 mil of the calculator.
The moving of the machine during the horizontal alignment
was discussed in the rim and face chapter, and should be re-
viewed. Since this method employs two rim indicators, they can
be set to 1/2 their readings and observed as the machine is
moved. Note however that both indicators should be set to 1/2
their value while in the 3 o’clock position only. This means that
when the indicator is positioned at 9 o’clock, it will read minus 1/
2 its 3 o’clock reading. With this, the machine can be moved until
both indicators read zero. This method can be used on small
machines or machines that are easy to move in a controlled man-
ner. However, measuring the movement of the machine at each
foot is the recommended method, and will prove more accurate in
most applications.
The best solution is to mount dial indicators to the base so
that they read against the feet. Set both indicators to zero and use
a controlled method of moving the machine. Move the machine
until the required readings are observed on the dial indicators. A
final set of both vertical and horizontal readings must be taken to
assure the vertical alignment was not upset and that the correct
adjustment was made in the horizontal direction.
THERMAL GROWTH
Thermal growth is basically handled the same as it was for
the rim and face method. Again, the most desirable method is hot
readings obtained from the machine after it has been aligned cold.
Use the same procedures to obtain a set of hot readings, and plot
their values over the cold graph. Note if a calculator solution is
desired, calculate the results of the hot run as with any other run,
and simply add the two runs together algebraically to obtain the
final results.
Remember, it is the objective to misalign the machine when
cold to assure proper alignment under normal operating condi-
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
tions. In any alignment process, this is accomplished by aligning
the machine opposite the hot readings.
When using this method to offset the equipment to compen-
sate for thermal growth, be sure to record the temperature of all
equipment during the alignment process. This will assure the
most accurate final alignment. After any alignment process, be
sure to measure and record the final vibration amplitudes and
record them on the alignment form for future reference.
Example 9-2
The machine in Example 9-1 has known thermal growth for
both the stationary machine and the adjustable machine. The out-
board foot of the stationary machine grows vertically 3.5 mils and
the inboard foot grows 2 mils. The D distance is measured at 12
inches and the E distance at 56 inches. The adjustable machine will
grow 1 mil at the inboard foot and shrink 2 mils at its outboard
foot. Determine what corrections need to be made to perfectly
misalign the machines to assure proper alignment when at oper-
ating temperatures. What should be the final indicator readings?
Step 1. The first step is to lay out a graph of the equipment and
determine the thermal growth effects. The hot centerlines for both
machines will be plotted to determine their final positions.
The basic graph layout is illustrated in Figure 9-7. Note again
that all distances are measured from the stem of the stationary
indicator.
Step 2. Next, the hot position of each foot is located and the
centerlines for the hot alignment are drawn.
In this example, the stationary machine hot centerline crosses
the inboard foot of the adjustable machine at plus 1 (+1) mil and
the outboard foot at zero. The hot centerline of the adjustable
machine also is at plus one mil at the inboard foot and minus two
(–2) mils at the outboard foot. Both machines will grow to the
same point on the adjustable machine inboard foot, and thus no
correction is required. Since the adjustable machine hot centerline
Reverse Indicator Alignment
OB
IB
S A
▲ ▲

IB OB


▲ ▼











Figure 9-7. Example 9-2—Basic Layout
OB
IB
S
OB IB
A
▲ ▲

Hot centerline of
stationary machine
Hot centerline of
adjustable maching
+1 mil
–2 mils










Zero
Figure 9-8. Example 9-2 - Hot Centerlines
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
on the outboard foot line is 2 mils below the stationary machine
hot centerline, the final alignment will place the adjustable ma-
chine outboard foot high by two mils.
Since the cold alignment was worked out in Example 9-1 and
found to require no change on the inboard foot and that 6 mils
were required to be added to the outboard foot, the two results are
simply added together. In this example no change to the inboard
foot was required from either calculation.
Therefore no change will be made to the inboard foot. The
outboard foot required 6 mils of shims to be added for the cold
alignment and required to be set an additional 2 mils high to
compensate for the hot alignment. Adding these two together re-
quires a total of eight (+8) mils to be added to the outboard foot.
Step 3. Next, a new plot of the final desired cold alignment is
made. This is shown in Figure 9-9.
Now all that is required is to determine the final indicator
readings, when the machines are perfectly misaligned cold.
Figure 9-10 illustrates how to calculate the final desired indi-
cator reading to assure proper misalignment, when the machine is
cold. In this example, the cold alignment line crosses the station-
S
IB
A
▲ ▲

IB
Final
alignment
line




+5
+2
Figure 9-9. Example 9-3 - Final Cold Alignment Line
Reverse Indicator Alignment
A
S
On the stationary and adjustable indicator lines,
±) to the
final alignment line and enter below






measure the distance and direction (



Change ±


Times 2
Times 2




STIR
ATIR
Figure 9-10. Final Alignment Readings for Reverse Indicator Align-
ment
ary indicator line at plus five (+5). Therefore the stationary indi-
cator reading (STIR) should be plus ten (+10). The cold alignment
line crosses the adjustable indicator line at plus two (+2). The final
adjustable indicator reading (ATIR) should be minus four (–4).
One final word about alignment. Regardless of the method
employed, when readings are taken from one machine to the
other, the readings always must have their algebraic signs
changed, so that the readings are transferred back to the original
machine.
In the reverse indicator method, the stationary machine read-
ing was not changed, since it was already a reading on the station-
ary machine. Note however that all other readings presented in
either method required transferring back to the stationary ma-
chine, since they were read across the coupling.
Also, all rim or bore readings must be divided by two, regardless
of the alignment technique employed.



Desired final readings


Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
BORE READINGS
Some machines require bore readings to be taken for the
alignment process. This could be a bore and face, a bore and rim,
or a bore and bore alignment process. Any of the three systems
mentioned above is easily handled with the methods previously
outlined. Remember, a bore reading is nothing more than an up-
side-down RIM reading. Thus all that is required is to treat every
process involving a bore reading exactly opposite of a rim reading.
The bar sag is set at 12 o’clock as a negative number, since the
indicator is mounted upside-down. Bore readings also must be
divided by two; however, their algebraic sign should not be
changed when transferring across a coupling. The remainder of
the alignment process is exactly the same as dealing with rim
readings.
Appendices

Appendix A Appendix A Appendix A Appendix A Appendix A
Torque Specifications Torque Specifications
Torque Specifications Torque Specifications Torque Specifications
Torque Values in Ft.-Lbs.
————————————————————————————————
Grade
————————————————————————————————
Bolt Threads 2 2 5 5 8 8
Dia. per inch Dry Oiled Dry Oiled Dry Oiled
————————————————————————————————
1/2 13 38 31 75 55 110 80
1/2 20 52 42 90 65 120 90
9/16 12 52 42 110 80 150 110
9/16 18 71 57 120 90 170 130
5/8 11 98 78 150 110 220 170
5/8 18 115 93 180 130 240 180
3/4 10 157 120 260 200 380 280
3/4 16 180 130 300 220 420 320
7/8 9 210 160 430 320 600 460
7/8 14 230 175 470 360 660 500
1 8 320 240 640 480 900 680
1 12 350 265 710 530 990 740
1-1/8 7 480 385 795 580 1430 1070
1-1/4 7 675 540 1105 805 1975 1480
1-3/8 6 900 720 1500 1095 2650 1980
1-1/2 6 1100 880 1775 1295 3200 2400
1-5/8 5.5 1470 1175 2425 1770 4400 3300
1-3/4 5 1900 1520 3150 2300 5650 4235
1-7/8 5 2360 1890 4200 3065 7600 5700
2 4.5 2750 2200 4550 3320 8200 6150
————————————————————————————————
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
The above table is provided for reference only. Always con-
sult the manufacturer ’s recommended torque specifications if
available. When tightening fasteners, it is recommended that the
final torque value is reached in three stages—that is, first torque to
33%, then 66%, and then the final value. In addition, assure that
a proper tightening pattern is used.
1
2 3
4
5
6
7
8
1
2
3
4
Figure A-1. Some Basic Torque Sequences
Some newer machines may have metric bolts and the torque
specifications may be given in Newton-Meters. To convert New-
ton-Meters into foot-pounds of torque:
1 Meter = 3.28333 Feet
1 Newton = .225 Pounds
1 Foot x 1 Pound
———————————————
.30456 Meters x 4.4444 Newtons
Foot-Pounds = Newton-Meters/1.3536 (A-1)
Appendices

Appendix B Appendix B Appendix B Appendix B Appendix B
Trigonometric Tables Trigonometric Tables
Trigonometric Tables Trigonometric Tables Trigonometric Tables
TRIGONOMETRIC TABLES (0-30)
————————————————————————————————
ANGLE SIN COS TAN
————————————————————————————————
0 0.00000 1.00000 0.00000
1 0.01745 0.99985 0.01746
2 0.03490 0.99939 0.03492
3 0.05234 0.99863 0.05241
4 0.06976 0.99756 0.06993
5 0.08716 0.99619 0.08749
6 0.10453 0.99452 0.10510
7 0.12187 0.99255 0.12278
8 0.13917 0.99027 0.14054
9 0.15643 0.98769 0.15838
10 0.17365 0.98481 0.17633
11 0.19081 0.98163 0.19438
12 0.20791 0.97815 0.21256
13 0.22495 0.97437 0.23087
14 0.24192 0.97030 0.24932
15 0.25882 0.96593 0.26795
16 0.27564 0.96126 0.28675
17 0.29237 0.95630 0.30573
18 0.30902 0.95106 0.32492
19 0.32557 0.94552 0.34433
20 0.34202 0.93969 0.36397
21 0.35837 0.93358 0.38386
22 0.37461 0.92718 0.40403
23 0.39073 0.92050 0.42447
24 0.40674 0.91355 0.44523
25 0.42262 0.90631 0.46631
26 0.43837 0.89879 0.48773
27 0.45399 0.89101 0.50953
28 0.46947 0.88295 0.53171
29 0.48481 0.87462 0.55431
30 0.50000 0.86603 0.57735
————————————————————————————————
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
TRIGONOMETRIC TABLES (30-60)
————————————————————————————————
ANGLE SIN COS TAN
————————————————————————————————
31 0.51504 0.85717 0.60086
32 0.52992 0.84805 0.62487
33 0.54464 0.83867 0.64941
34 0.55919 0.82904 0.67451
35 0.57358 0.81915 0.70021
36 0.58779 0.80902 0.72654
37 0.60182 0.79864 0.75355
38 0.61566 0.78801 0.78129
39 0.62932 0.77715 0.80978
40 0.64279 0.76604 0.83910
41 0.65606 0.75471 0.86929
42 0.66913 0.74314 0.90040
43 0.68200 0.73135 0.93252
44 0.69466 0.71934 0.96569
45 0.70711 0.70711 1.00000
46 0.71934 0.69466 1.03553
47 0.73135 0.68200 1.07237
48 0.74314 0.66913 1.11061
49 0.75471 0.65606 1.15037
50 0.76604 0.64279 1.19175
51 0.77715 0.62932 1.23490
52 0.78801 0.61566 1.27994
53 0.79864 0.60181 1.32704
54 0.80902 0.58778 1.37638
55 0.81915 0.57358 1.42815
56 0.82904 0.55919 1.48256
57 0.83867 0.54464 1.53986
58 0.84805 0.52992 1.60033
59 0.85717 0.51504 1.66428
60 0.86603 0.50000 1.73205
————————————————————————————————
Appendices
TRIGONOMETRIC TABLES (60-90)
————————————————————————————————
ANGLE SIN COS TAN
————————————————————————————————
61 0.87462 0.48481 1.80405
62 0.88295 0.46947 1.88073
63 0.89101 0.45399 1.96261
64 0.89879 0.43837 2.05030
65 0.90631 0.42262 2.14451
66 0.91355 0.40674 2.24604
67 0.92050 0.39073 2.35585
68 0.92718 0.37461 2.47509
69 0.93358 0.35837 2.60509
70 0.93969 0.34202 2.74748
71 0.94552 0.32557 2.90421
72 0.95106 0.30902 3.07768
73 0.95630 0.29237 3.27085
74 0.96126 0.27564 3.48741
75 0.96593 0.25882 3.73205
76 0.97030 0.24192 4.01078
77 0.97437 0.22495 4.33148
78 0.97815 0.20791 4.70463
79 0.98163 0.19081 5.14455
80 0.98481 0.17365 5.67128
81 0.98769 0.15643 6.31375
82 0.99027 0.13917 7.11537
83 0.99255 0.12187 8.14435
84 0.99452 0.10453 9.51436
85 0.99619 0.08715 11.43005
86 0.99756 0.06975 14.30067
87 0.99863 0.05233 19.08114
88 0.99939 0.03490 28.63625
89 0.99985 0.01745 57.28996
90 1.00000 0.00000 ∞
————————————————————————————————
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Appendices

Appendix C Appendix C Appendix C Appendix C Appendix C
Conversion Factors Conversion Factors
Conversion Factors Conversion Factors Conversion Factors
ENGLISH TO METRIC CONVERSION FACTORS
Length
1 in. 0254 m
1 in. 2.54 cm.
1 in. 25.4 mm
1 in. .083333 ft.
1 mil .001 in.
1 mil .0254 mm
Mass
1 lb. .4536 kg
1 lb. 16 oz.
1 lb. 453.6 gm.
1 oz. 28.35 gm.
Velocity
1 rpm .1047 rad./sec
1 ft/sec .682 miles/hr.
1 cm/sec 1.97 ft/min.
Acceleration
1 ft/min/min 0084674 cm/sec/sec.
1 ft/sec/sec .032808 cm/sec/sec
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
FRACTIONS TO DECIMALS
1/16 0.0625
1/8 0.125
3/16 0.1875
1/4 0.25
5/16 0.3125
3/8 0.375
7/16 0.4375
1/2 0.5
9/16 0.5625
5/8 0.625
11/16 0.6875
3/4 0.75
13/16 0.8125
7/8 0.875
15/16 0.9375
Appendices

Appendix D Appendix D Appendix D Appendix D Appendix D
Weight Loss Due to Drilling Weight Loss Due to Drilling
Weight Loss Due to Drilling Weight Loss Due to Drilling Weight Loss Due to Drilling
DIAMETER
DEPTH
Figure D-1. Removing
TIP
Weight by Drilling
VOLUME OF MATERIAL REMOVED
Table D-1
————————————————————————————————
DIAMETER TIP PER 1/8TH INCH AFTER TIP
————————————————————————————————
1/16 .0000165 .0003835
1/8 .0001317 .0015339
3/16 .0004444 .0034515
1/4 .0010534 .0061359
5/16 .0020574 .0095874
3/8 .0035553 .0138058
7/16 .0056456 .0187913
1/2 .0084273 .0245437
9/16 .0119990 .0310631
7/8 .0164596 .0383495
11/16 .0219077 .0464029
3/4 .0284421 .0552233
13/16 .0361616 .0648107
7/8 .0451650 .0751650
15/16 .0555551 .0862864
1 .0674183 .0981748
1-1/16 .0808658 .1108301
1-1/8 .0959921 .1242524
1-3/16 .1128961 .1384418
1-1/4 .1316764 .1533981
————————————————————————————————
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
To get the total volume removed, add the tip volume to the
depth drilled as shown in Figure (D-1). Use the following chart to
determine the weight removed.
Table D-2
————————————————————————————————
MATERIAL OUNCES PER CU. IN.
————————————————————————————————
ALUMINUM 1.52778
COPPER 5.14815
IRON 4.16667
LEAD 6.57407
STEEL 4.52778
————————————————————————————————
Example D-1
A flywheel 24 inches in diameter requires 1-1/2 inch-ounces
of correction weight at 137 degrees. It is decided to balance the
flywheel by removing material rather than by adding a correction
weight. The flywheel is made of nodular iron. What is the depth
of the drilling if a 9/16-inch bit is to be used?
Step 1. First, since material is to be removed, it is removed oppo-
site where the correction weight would be added, or 180+137 =
317 degrees. If a hole were to be drilled 10 inches from the center,
the required weight to be removed would be 1.5/10 or .15 ounces.
Step 2. Iron weighs approximately 4.16667 ounces per cubic inch,
from Table (D-2); therefore, a total of .15/4.16667 or .035999 cubic
inches must be removed. From Table (D-1), the tip of the 9/16-in.
bit removes .0119990 cubic inches. The additional depth required
is thus .035999 – .011999 = .024 inches
Appendices
Step 3. From Table (D-1) a 9/16-in. bit removes .0310631 cubic
inches per 1/8 inch past the tip. Therefore, the number of 1/8-inch
increments is .024/.0310631 = .7726 x .125 or .0966 inches past the
tip.
Since this depth would be difficult to measure, a better solu-
tion may be to use a 1/2-inch bit. The 1/2-inch tip removes
.0084273 cubic inches leaving .035999 - .0084273 or .02757 cubic
inches. The 1/2-inch bit removes .0245437 per 1/8 inch or .125
inch of depth, and thus the required depth is (.02757/.0245437) x
.125 or .14 inches.
Also note that multiple holes can be drilled at different radi-
uses and/or the removed weight can be broken into parts as with
the correction weights.
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Appendices

Appendix E Appendix E Appendix E Appendix E Appendix E
Properties of Steel Shafts Properties of Steel Shafts
Properties of Steel Shafts Properties of Steel Shafts Properties of Steel Shafts
————————————————————————————————
FOR SOLID STEEL SHAFTS
————————————————————————————————
Dia. Moment Lbs. per Dia. Moment Lbs. per
in. of Inertia Foot in. of Inertia Foot
————————————————————————————————
0.25 0.0002 0.16 8.25 227.3975 178.19
0.5 0.0031 0.65 8.5 256.2392 189.15
0.75 0.0155 1.47 8.75 287.7412 200.44
1 0.0491 2.62 9 322.0623 212.06
1.25 0.1198 4.09 9.25 359.3659 224.00
1.5 0.2485 5.89 9.5 399.8198 236.27
1.75 0.4604 8.02 9.75 443.5968 248.87
2 0.7854 10.47 10 490.8739 261.80
2.25 1.2581 13.25 10.25 541.8329 275.05
2.5 1.9175 16.36 10.5 596.6602 288.63
2.75 2.8074 19.80 10.75 655.5469 302.54
3 3.9761 23.56 11 718.6884 316.78
3.25 5.4765 27.65 11.25 786.2850 331.34
3.5 7.3662 32.07 11.5 858.5414 346.23
3.75 9.7072 36.82 11.75 935.6671 361.45
4 12.5664 41.89 12 1017.8760 376.99
4.25 16.0150 47.29 12.25 1105.3867 392.86
4.5 20.1289 53.01 12.5 1198.4225 409.06
4.75 24.9887 59.07 12.75 1297.2110 425.59
5 30.6796 65.45 13 1401.9848 442.44
(Continued)
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
————————————————————————————————
FOR SOLID STEEL SHAFTS (Cont’d)
————————————————————————————————
Dia. Moment Lbs. per Dia. Moment Lbs. per
in. of Inertia Foot in. of Inertia Foot
————————————————————————————————
5.25 37.2913 72.16 13.25 1512.9808 459.62
5.5 44.9180 79.19 13.5 1630.4406 477.13
5.75 53.6588 86.56 13.75 1754.6104 494.96
6 63.6173 94.25 14 1885.7410 513.13
6.25 74.9014 102.27 14.25 2024.0878 531.62
6.5 87.6241 110.61 14.5 2169.9109 550.43
6.75 101.9025 119.28 14.75 2323.4749 569.58
7 117.8588 128.28 15 2485.0489 589.05
7.25 135.6194 137.61 15.25 2654.9068 608.85
7.5 155.3156 147.26 15.5 2833.3269 628.97
7.75 177.0829 157.24 15.75 3020.5924 649.43
8 201.0619 167.55 16 3216.9909 670.21
————————————————————————————————
Appendices

Appendix F Appendix F Appendix F Appendix F Appendix F
Alignment Forms Alignment Forms
Alignment Forms Alignment Forms Alignment Forms
The forms in this section may be copied without permission.
They will be found useful in the alignment process as well as in
maintaining maintenance records.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Appendices
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Appendices
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Procedures

Procedures Procedures
Procedures Procedures Procedures
T T
T T
T
his section contains sample procedures for cooling tower
fans. The various procedures are easily modified to fit other
types of equipment, and should be used as guidelines in the
development of other procedures.
In addition, the following flow charts are provided with the
same intent. These procedures and flow charts may be copied in
whole or in part to develop specific procedures for other equip-
ment.
Prior to performing any maintenance or procedures, safety
rules and regulations should be reviewed. A generalized safety
procedure is also provided. The following illustration shows the
logical flow of maintenance for a cooling tower fan.
The following flow charts are presented as amplifications of
the segments shown in Figure (P-1).
Figure P-1. Fan Maintenance Flow Chart
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Figure P-2. Inspection Flow Chart
Figure P-3. Flow Chart for Soft Feet Corrections
Procedures
Figure P-4. Flow Chart for Blade Clearance
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Figure P-5. Flow Chart for Fan Alignment
Procedures
Figure P-6. Flow Chart for Adjusting Blade Pitch
Figure P-7. Flow Chart for Balancing Slow Speed Fans
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Procedure Procedure Procedure Procedure Procedure
Safety Notes Safety Notes
Safety Notes Safety Notes Safety Notes
PURPOSE
This procedure addresses general safety practices and cau-
tions which must be reviewed and understood to assure safety
when performing maintenance or inspections of cooling towers or
fin fan coolers. It is not the intended purpose of this procedure to
be totally encompassing in its scope, but rather to supplement
established safety practices, policies and procedures, both general
and specific to the area or facility.
RECOMMENDED INTERVAL
These guidelines must be adhered to when performing main-
tenance or inspections of cooling towers and fin fan coolers.
GENERAL
Prior to performing maintenance or inspections of any equip-
ment, an understanding of safety procedures is required. Become
familiar with any special rules and/or regulations that may apply
to the specific area of the plant or facility that you will be working
in. Thoroughly review all emergency procedures. Often mainte-
nance personnel perform work in many different areas or loca-
tions and are not sufficiently familiar with emergency operational
procedures to be of assistance.
NOTE: It is advisable that a brief safety meeting be held each
morning to assure all personnel working in the area are aware of
Procedures
the scheduled activities. This should include designating a loca-
tion to meet in the event of an emergency to ascertain an accurate
head count. In addition, discuss what assistance each individual
will provide in handling the emergency.
PROCEDURE
1. Place safety first!
2. Read and understand all procedures to be performed, and
adhere to all cautions, warnings, and notes on safety.
3. Review lock out and tag out procedures.
4. Assure operating personnel have all been properly notified
of your planned activities.
5. Safety glasses, hard hat, and other protective equipment
stipulated for the work location, must be worn at all times.
6. Observe and adhere to all safety warning signs, such as
NO SMOKING.
7. Inspect stairways, ladders and railings for wood rot, secure
fasteners, and general structural integrity.
CAUTION: Large cooling towers must have two means of exiting.
In general, most towers have a stairway and either a ladder or
other escape system which should be located at the opposite end
of the tower. Most towers are fabricated of flammable materials
and often the fluid(s) being cooled are flammable. A second es-
cape route is imperative in the event of a fire on or near the pri-
mary means of access to the tower.
8. Assure a fire extinguisher is available on the cooling tower
deck, and that it has been properly tested and inspected.
9. Sniff (using the proper sniffer or other instrument) for gas
or other process fluid leaks, which could be either toxic
and/or flammable.
10. When the process fluid is toxic, assure breathing appara-
tuses are available and in proper working order.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
CAUTION: When working alone, assure someone is advised of
your location, and an expected time you will check in.
11. Assure all guards and shields in place and properly se-
cured at all times except when making adjustments.
12. Be aware of other operational and/or maintenance activi-
ties that could interfere with your safety or the safety of
others.
13. Watch for inclement weather, which could produce high
winds and/or lightning in the area.
WARNING: It may be necessary to tie down certain equipment
and parts on towers where wind currents could blow them off and
cause injury to persons or equipment below.
14. Do not enter the tower without the use of a safety har-
ness in the event of a slip.
CAUTION: It is advisable to have a second person present when
entering the fan area or cooling tower is necessary.
15. Assure hoists or other lifting devices used to remove
equipment or lift equipment onto the tower are properly
rated, inspected to assure the integrity of cables, properly
secured to the tower, and are in good working order.
16. Assure the integrity of the decking in and around your
work area. Additional supports may be required when
removing heavy equipment such as motors and gearboxes.
17. Use proper rigging procedures to secure all loads.
18. Establish clear and precise hand signals, to communicate
to persons on the ground.
19. Clean any oil spills immediately to prevent slip and fall
and a fire hazard.
20. Keep all hand tools not in use in a tool box to avoid trip
hazards.
21. Test all electrical wires and motor frames to assure there is
no stray voltage.
Procedures
22. Use only recently calibrated test equipment.
23. Assure all moving parts are secure, including any weight
added to fan blades, prior to operating the equipment.
CAUTION: Loose objects can become high-speed projectiles and
cause serious injury!
24 Inspect all extension cords for insulation, plugs, proper
grounding and proper wire gauge for the intended job.
25. Pay attention to the routing of electrical cables.
CAUTION: It may be advisable to cover cables in traffic areas to
prevent trips.
26. Keep path of cables as short as possible.
27. Unused cables and extension cords should be coiled and
stored out of the way.
28. Double check to assure no tools or rags are left in or
around the fan stack or shroud prior to untagging and
unlocking the power to the motor.
29. Thoroughly inspect your work area to assure it is left in a
safe manner.
30. Report any equipment or structural members that are un-
safe, to the proper authority.
31. Keep proper written notes. Do not rely on memory!
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Procedure Procedure Procedure Procedure Procedure
Fan Inspections Fan Inspections
Fan Inspections Fan Inspections Fan Inspections
PURPOSE
This procedure addresses the basic inspection procedures for
fans and their associated structural members, prior to performing
major maintenance.
RECOMMENDED INTERVAL
Semi-annually or prior to performing major maintenance.
GENERAL
Prior to performing major maintenance of cooling fans, gen-
eral inspections are required. The mechanical condition of the sup-
porting members and all fastening devices must be determined. In
addition, the inspections must note any internal and external cor-
rosion and the buildup of scale and other debris. The proper lu-
brication and general condition of seals and bearings must also be
noted.
I. PROCEDURE 800.101.1
Fan Deck Inspections
1. Inspect the fan deck for decay, missing and/or broken mem-
bers.
2. Inspect for gaps between decking which could cause short
circuiting of the air circulation.
3. Towers with metal decking must be inspected for holes in the
decking due to corrosion. The condition of the corrosion pro-
tective coating must be noted.
4. Inspect the fan deck supports for decay and loose or broken
members.
Procedures
5. All fasteners must be inspected to assure they are tight and
free of excessive corrosion.
6. Record all findings.
II. PROCEDURE 800.101.2
Fan Stack Inspections
1. Fan stacks must be inspected to assure they are securely at-
tached to the fan deck supports. Check for looseness of fas-
teners and assure they are not excessively corroded.
2. Check for any missing and/or broken members of the stack
structure, and note any deterioration of any member.
3. Observe any wood rot and corrosion of metal retaining rings
on wooden stacks.
4. Inspect tie down and support straps on fiberglass stacks.
5. Inspect for proper blade tip clearance using Procedure
800.102.
6. If so equipped, inspect fan guards for loose fasteners and
excessive corrosion. Check to assure no loose or broken mem-
bers could fall into the operating fan.
NOTE: OSHA requires all fans with stack heights of less than five
feet tall be equipped with a fan guard over the entire stack.
7. Record all findings.
III. PROCEDURE 800.101.3
Mechanical Equipment Support Inspections
1. Insect the equipment support members for corrosion, rot,
loose or missing fasteners, straps and/or hangers.
CAUTION: Prior to entering the fan stack area, assure the motor
is locked out and tagged out. In addition, tie down the fan blades
to assure accidental rotation cannot occur due to natural drafts
within the tower.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
2. Inspect any wooden members in contact with equipment
supports to ensure structural soundness. Check wood for
iron rot in areas where wood contacts metal structures.
3. If vibration dampers are used, such as springs or rubber
pads, check for corrosion and/or loss of vibration absorption
properties.
4. Assure all hold-down fasteners are properly torqued.
5. Record all findings.
IV. PROCEDURE 800.101.4
Fan Inspections
1. Inspect the fan hub for signs of corrosion and assure all fas-
teners are in good condition and properly torqued.
2. Inspect blade clamping devices for signs of corrosion and
assure they are properly torqued.
3. Inspect each fan blade for corrosion and erosion. Blades must
be inspected for any build-up of solid materials which can
alter both the air foil characteristics and the balance of the
fan.
NOTE: Hollow blades should have a drain hole drilled near their
tip to assure no accumulation of moisture that can alter the fan
balance. Assure tall drain holes are open.
4. Clean the blades of all foreign material.
5. Inspect the blades for proper pitch angle, using Procedure
800.105.6.
6. Record all findings.
V. PROCEDURE 800.101.5
Gearbox Inspections
1. Check the gearbox for proper oil level and fill as required,
using the proper oil.
Procedures
2. Inspect the gearbox oil for signs of moisture.
3. Collect a small sample of the oil on a white paper towel and
inspect under a strong light for metallic wear particles.
NOTE: Gearbox oil should be changed annually or after extended
periods of down time.
4. Rotate the fan back and forth to determine the amount of
play in the gear teeth.
5. Check the input shaft bearing by attempting to move the
shaft in a radial direction.
6. Inspect the fan shaft bearing for excessive end play by at-
tempting to lift the fan blade while noting any movement of
the output shaft.
7. Record all findings and action taken.
VI. PROCEDURE 800.101.6
Driveshaft & Coupling Inspections
1. Inspect the drive shaft for any signs of corrosion. The condi-
tion of the internal surface of the drive shaft can be deter-
mined by lightly tapping the drive shaft with a small
hammer, along its entire length.
NOTE: Areas that produce a dead sound indicate possible internal
corrosion.
2. Inspect all keys to assure they are not excessively corroded
and that they are of the proper dimensions to assure proper
balance. See Couplings, and refer to Procedure 800.106.
3. All fastening devices must be inspected for excessive corro-
sion and checked to determine they are properly torqued.
Check to assure all fasteners are of the same grade and the
same length. Assure all washers are in place and of the same
dimensions, if so equipped.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
4. Inspect couplings for excessive corrosion, wear and proper
lubrication.
5. Inspect shim pack type couplings for cracking, broken or
missing members.
6. Inspect U-joint couplings for proper lubrication.
NOTE: These types of couplings must operate with the proper
amount of misalignment to assure proper lubrication of the U-
joint bearing needles. Excessive misalignment causes excessive
velocity changes and loss in efficiency. See Procedure 800.101.6.
7. Inspect motor coupling guard to assure it is properly fas-
tened down. Inspect all fasteners for excessive corrosion.
NOTE: The condition of this guard is important in the prevention
of serious injury and/or excessive damage to equipment in the
event of a coupling or drive shaft failure!
7. Record all findings and any action taken.
VII. PROCEDURE 800.101.7
Motor Inspections
1. Inspect the motor for signs of over heating and hot spots.
2. Assure the bearings are properly lubricated.
NOTE: Over lubrication of motor bearings may lead to insulation
deterioration.
3. Inspect the motor air inlet passage for excessive build-up of
dirt and other solid debris, and clean if required.
4. Inspect the motor fan to assure all blades are clean and not
broken or damaged. Clean or replace as required.
5. If the motor is equipped with a moisture drain, assure it is
functioning properly.
6. Examine all fasteners for corrosion, and assure they are prop-
erly torqued.
7. Record all findings and action taken.
Procedures ±o<
Procedure 8oo.+o± Procedure 8oo.+o± Procedure 8oo.+o± Procedure 8oo.+o± Procedure 8oo.+o±
Soít leet ·orrectìons Soít leet ·orrectìons
Soít leet ·orrectìons Soít leet ·orrectìons Soít leet ·orrectìons
PURPOSE
This procedure addresses the requirements for determining
uneven feet on both drivers and fans, and outlines the required
steps to correct them. This will assure proper internal equipment
alignment, and ease the effort required for coupling alignment.
Coupling, bearing, seal and gear failures will be reduced.
RECOMMENDED INTERVAL
After major component replacement or when equipment is
re-aligned.
GENERAL
Prior to attempting to properly align equipment, soft feet
must be measured and corrected. Failure to compensate for soft
feet could result in internal misalignment and lead to premature
failures. Gearboxes should be leveled to assure the lack of aerody-
namic forces and to assist in the alignment process. Aerodynamic
forces can be generated from uneven blade passage over internal
supports within the fan stack.
PROCEDURE
1. Lock out and tag out the fan motor power.
2. Lock Loosen all hold-down bolts. Remove, measure and
record the amount of shim material under each foot.
3. Lock Clean all foreign material from under the gear box
feet, such as paint, grease, oil and dirt.
4. Lock Torque all hold-down bolts to their proper tightness.
5. Lock Using a felt tip marker or similar device, label each
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
foot. Facing the gearbox input shaft, note “left” and
“right.”
6. Lock Measure and record the machine soft feet by one of
the following methods.
I. Dial Indicator Method
A. Mount a dial indicator to the base plate so the stem
will read the vertical travel of the foot as the hold-
down bolt is loosened.
B. Loosen one hold-down bolt at a time noting and re-
cording the indicator reading. Re-torque the hold-
down bolt to its proper value.
C. Repeat the steps above for the remaining feet.
II. Feeler Gauge Method
A. Loosen a hold-down bolt, and using a feeler gauge,
determine the clearance between the foot and the
support member. Record this information.
B. Re-torque the hold-down bolt to its proper value.
C. Repeat the steps above for the remaining feet.
7. Subtract the smallest reading from the remaining readings
for each foot. The results are the proper corrections for
each foot.
8. Using proper shim material, add the proper amount of
shims under each foot.
9. Re-torque the hold down bolts and record the corrections
for future reference
10. Use a machinists or carpenters level to assure the gearbox
is properly leveled.
A. If the gear box is not level then perform the following:
i. Use shims or a feeler gauge under the level to deter-
mine the amount of correction over the length of the
level.
ii. Measure the distance between the hold-down bolts.
Procedures
iii. Determine the correct amount of shims to add under
the low foot, using the following formula:
C = R * H/L (P-1)
Where:
C = the amount of correction.
R = the shims or feeler gauge reading under the
level.
H = the distance between the hold-down bolts.
L = the length of the level.
NOTE: The gearbox must be leveled in both planes. After correct-
ing the level from front to rear, correct the level from side to side.
iv. Record the amount of shims added under each foot.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Procedure Procedure Procedure Procedure Procedure
Blade Tip Clearance Blade Tip Clearance
Blade Tip Clearance Blade Tip Clearance Blade Tip Clearance
PURPOSE
This procedure addresses the requirements for determining
the tip clearance of fan blades, and the steps for moving the gear-
box to assure proper tip clearance. This assures the fan will oper-
ate without excessive aerodynamic forces that can cause excessive
vibration.
RECOMMENDED INTERVAL
Annually or after gear box or fan blade replacement.
GENERAL
Prior to measuring the blade tip clearance, complete an in-
spection of support members and fastening devices. In addition,
the gearbox must be leveled and any soft feet corrected. See Pro-
cedures 800.102 and 800.102.
Fan hubs and fan blades also must be cleaned of any scale or
other buildup. The fan stack must be in a good state of repair and
rigid. If so equipped, fan guards may need to be removed prior to
performing this procedure, and must be replaced when com-
pleted.
CAUTION: Fan blades should be secured at all times except when
rotating them to make measurements. Natural drafts through the
tower can cause blades to rotate that could lead to injury.
Procedures
PROCEDURE
1. Lock and tag out motor to fan, and secure fan blades.
2. Randomly select a blade and using a felt tip marker label
it number one. Continue in a counter clockwise direction
and number the remaining blades
3. Using the drive shaft as a reference point, place a mark on
the fan stack near where the blades pass and label it 12
o’clock. Locate and label the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions on
the fan stack, where the blade tip passes.
4. Using a steel ruler or a tape measure, measure and record
the distance between the closest point on each fan blade
and the 12 o’clock mark on the fan stack.
5. Rotate the fan and measure the clearance of the number
one blade at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions, as in step 4.
6. From the readings taken in step 4, determine if any blade
is either too short or too long, and inspect the mounting at
the hub to determine if it is properly seated.
a. If the blade is not seated properly, correct the seating
depth by loosening the retaining bolts and moving
the blade either in or out to achieve the proper blade
length. Re-torque the retaining bolts and repeat step 4.
b. If the blade cannot be corrected as in step 6A, it may
need to be replaced.
7. Subtract the 6 o’clock reading from the 12 o’clock reading,
and divide this result by two. This determines the amount
of required movement in the plane parallel to the drive
shaft.
NOTE: A positive number indicates the gearbox must be moved
toward the 12 o’clock mark, a negative number indicates it must
be moved toward 6 o’clock.
8. Subtract the 9 o’clock reading from the 3 o’clock reading,
and divide this result by two. This determines the amount
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
of required movement in the plane perpendicular to the
drive shaft.
NOTE: A positive number indicates the gearbox must be moved
toward the 9 o’clock mark; a negative number indicates it must be
moved toward the 3 o’clock.
9. Attach dial indicators to support members so that they can
read the movement of the gearbox. Zero the indicators,
loosen the hold-down bolts and bump the gearbox in the
proper direction, noting the amount of movement.
NOTE: An alternate method is to locate the number-one blade
facing the direction in which the gearbox needs to be moved, and
measure the tip clearance after each bump.
9. Torque all hold-down bolts and re-measure the tip clear-
ances. Repeat steps 1 through 9 as required.
10. Use Procedure 800.104 to re-align the drive shaft cou-
plings.
Procedures ±++
Procedure 8oo.+o= Procedure 8oo.+o= Procedure 8oo.+o= Procedure 8oo.+o= Procedure 8oo.+o=
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PURPOSE
This procedure addresses the requirements for proper align-
ment of the motor and fan gearbox of cooling tower fans, or other
large slow-speed fans using the rim and face alignment method.
This assures the couplings are properly aligned and that vibration
due to misalignment will be minimized. In addition, this assures
prolonged life of couplings, seals, bearings and gears.
RECOMMENDED INTERVAL
After major component replacement or when excessive vibra-
tion is noted.
GENERAL
Prior to attempting to properly align cooling tower fans, as-
sure all inspections have been properly made. Refer to Procedure
800.100. In addition, assure fan is properly leveled and entered
within the fan shroud. Also, assure soft feet have been corrected.
Refer to Procedures 800.102 and 800.103.
CAUTION: This procedure must not be used on fans with U-joint
couplings. Refer to Procedure 800.104.1 for U-joint couplings.
PROCEDURE
1. Lock out and tag out the motor to the fan.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
CAUTION: Fan blades should be secured at all times, except
when rotating the indicator fixtures. Natural draft through the
tower can cause blades to rotate that could lead to injury.
2. Setup indicator fixture on the gearbox coupling to deter-
mine fixture measurements. Mark the exact location where
the fixture mounts to the gearbox, using a felt-tip marker
or similar device.
3. Remove fixture, and set up on a ridged pipe using the
same dimensions and fixture components to be used dur-
ing the alignment process.
4. Place the rim indicator at the 6 o’clock position and zero
the indicator.
5. Rotate the fixture to place the rim indicator in the 12
o’clock position. Read and record the bar sag.
6. Assure all motor and gear box feet have been corrected for
soft feet. Refer to Procedure 800.102.
7. Assure gear box is level and centered in the fan shroud.
Refer to Procedure 800.103.
8. Place the alignment fixture on the gearbox coupling so that
the indicators read on the drive shaft side of the coupling.
Use the marks to assure the fixture is configured properly
for bar sag compensation.
9. Measure and record the A, B1 and C1 distances.
10. Set the face indicator to zero, and the rim indicator to the
[+] plus bar sag reading at 12 o’clock. Rotate the drive
shaft in the direction of normal operation, one complete
revolution to assure the indicator’s return.
11. Rotate the drive shaft in the direction of normal operation
to place the rim and face indicators in the 6 o’clock posi-
tion, then take and record the indicator readings.
CAUTION: Always observe the indicators during the rotation of
the fixture to assure the readings do not pass back through zero.
This can cause severe errors if a small reading was interpreted as
a large reading in the opposite direction.
Procedures
12. Rotate the drive shaft to the 12 o’clock position to assure
the indicators return to their initial readings. If they do not,
tighten the fixture elements and repeat steps 10 through 12.
13. Remove the alignment fixture and install it on the motor
coupling so that the indicators read on the motor side of
the coupling. Assure the fixture dimensions remain the
same. Mark the location of the fixture on the drive shaft for
future installations.
14. Measure the new B2 and C2 distances and record them.
15. Repeat steps 10 through 12 for the new fixture location.
Read and record the new indicator readings.
16. Determine the required shim changes for the motor feet,
using the graphical method, calculator method or the com-
puter program.
17. Verify all shims by using a micrometer. Remove any ridges
or burrs from shim material.
18. Repeat steps 4 through 17 as required to correct the vertical
alignment
19. Once the vertical alignment is corrected, mark the LEFT
side of the machine, using a felt-tip marker.
NOTE: Although either side of the machine can be designated as
the left side without causing errors, it is easier if the motor is
marked as viewed from the gearbox end.
20. Locate the fixture on the gearbox coupling, using the
marks on the shaft to assure the fixture is placed in its
original position.
21. Rotate the drive shaft in the direction of normal operation
to align the indicators on the left or 9 o’clock position. Set
the indicators to zero.
NOTE: Equipment with gears can cause shifts in readings if not
rotated in the direction of normal operation, due to gear backlash.
Never go past the reading location and rotate back to it. If rotated
past the desired position, continue a complete rotation in the
proper direction to reach the reading location.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
22. Rotate the drive shaft one full revolution in the direction of
normal operation to assure the indicators repeat their
original readings.
23. Rotate the drive shaft to the 3 o’clock position and read
and record the indicator readings.
24. Return the fixtures to the o’clock position to assure they
return to zero.
25. Move the indicator fixture to the marked location on the
motor coupling.
26. Repeat steps 21 through 24, and record the indicator read-
ings.
27. Determine the required motor movements. (See step 16)
28. Repeat steps 20 through 26 as required.
29. Torque all hold-down bolts and assure all equipment is
clear and ready for operation.
30. Remove lock and tag and place unit in operation.
31. Measure and record the final vibration levels.
Procedures ±+<
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PURPOSE
This procedure addresses the requirements for proper align-
ment of the motor and fan gearbox of cooling tower fans, or other
large slow-speed fans. This assures the couplings are properly
aligned and that vibration due to misalignment will be mini-
mized. In addition, this assures prolonged life of couplings, seals,
bearings and gears.
RECOMMENDED INTERVAL
After major component replacement or when excessive vibra-
tion is noted.
GENERAL
Prior to attempting to properly align cooling tower fans, as-
sure all inspections have been properly made. Refer to Procedure
800.100. In addition, assure fan is properly leveled and entered
within the fan shroud. Also, assure soft feet have been corrected.
Refer to Procedures 800.102 and 800.103.
NOTE: To achieve proper lubrication of U-joint bearing needles, a
minimum of 1 to 3 degrees of angularity is required. The maxi-
mum angularity allowed is 7 to 8 degrees, to avoid loss of effi-
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
ciency and large velocity changes, which occur at two times drive
shaft RPM. This procedure aligns the U-joint coupling to approxi-
mately 5 degrees.
Often lack of lubrication in U-joints is blamed on corrosion
and not the root cause, proper alignment to assure proper lubrica-
tion of the needles.
PROCEDURE
1. Lock out and tag out motor, and secure the fan blades.
2. Assure the gearbox and motor are leveled.
3. Place a large level across the gearbox coupling and mark
off two locations on the drive shaft one foot apart.
4. Place one end of the level on one mark and hold it in a
level position.
5. Measure and record the distance from the second mark to
the bottom of the level. This distance must be 1 inch +/- 1/
4 inch.
6. If the reading is not within the specified range, the motor
must be moved.
7. Measure the distance between the centers of the two U-
joint couplings.
8. Determine the amount of motor movement using the fol-
lowing formula:
S = (L/12) * (1 - D) (P-2)
Where:
S = The amount of motor movement required in inches.
L = Length of the drive shaft in inches.
D = The distance from the level to the drive shaft.
9. Determine the proper direction, and move the motor.
10. Follow steps 20 through 30 of Procedure 800.104 for proper
horizontal alignment.
Procedures ±+¬
Procedure 8oo.+o< Procedure 8oo.+o< Procedure 8oo.+o< Procedure 8oo.+o< Procedure 8oo.+o<
B¦ade Pìtch Adíustment B¦ade Pìtch Adíustment
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PURPOSE
This procedure addresses the requirements for determining
the consumed horsepower of fan motors and the regulation of the
load by adjustment of the fan blade pitch. This optimizes motor
efficiency and power consumption.
RECOMMENDED INTERVAL
After blade adjustment or major component replacement.
GENERAL
Prior to measuring the consumed horsepower, the pitch angle
of each blade must be measured, and set to the same pitch. It is
best to have a bubble protractor to accomplish setting the pitch
angle, but a carpenter or machinist level and a standard protractor
can be used. A clamp-on ammeter and a voltmeter are required to
measure the motor horsepower.
PROCEDURE
1. Lock and tag out motor to the fan, and secure the fan
blades.
2. Using a black felt-tip marker or similar device, umber the
blades in a counter clockwise direction (1, 2, 3, etc.), start-
ing with any blade.
3. Place the level on the trailing edge of the blade marked
number one, perpendicular to the axis of the fan blade and
adjust it to level. Place the protractor on the fan blade from
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
the leading edge to the trailing edge, and measure and
record the angle it forms.
NOTE: When using a small protractor, it may be necessary to use
a flat strip of steel to entirely span the fan blade.
4. Repeat steps 2 through 3 for the remaining blades.
5. Find the average angle, and adjust all blades to that value.
6. Loosen the retaining bolts and rotate the blade while ob-
serving the angle.
CAUTION: Assure the blade seating depth is not altered while
rotating blades. Mark the seating depth with a felt marker prior to
loosing the bolts.
7. Re-torque all clamping bolts.
8. Assure all tools and personnel are clear of the fan, then
remove the lock and tag and start the unit.
9. Record the following motor nameplate information:
A. Motor Efficiency.
B. Power Factor.
C. Voltage.
D. Rated Amperes.
E. Number of Phases.
10. Start the unit and measure and record the actual voltage
and amperes delivered to the motor.
11. Calculate the motor horsepower with one of the following
formulas.
A. SINGLE PHASE AC MOTORS:
BHp = (I * E * EFF * PF)/746 (P-3)
B. THREE PHASE AC MOTORS:
BHp = (1.73 * I * E * EFF * PF)/746 (P-4)
Where:
I = Measured Amperes.
E = Measured Voltage.
EFF = Nameplate Efficiency.
PF= Nameplate Power Factor.
Procedures
12. Compare the measured horsepower to the nameplate
horsepower to determine the percent load, by using the
following formula:
PERCENT LOAD = (BHp/MHP)/100 (P-5)
Where:
BHp = Nameplate Rated Horsepower.
MHp = Measured Horsepower.
13. If the percent load is greater than 100% the blade pitch
must be decreased; if it is less than 95%, it should be in-
creased.
NOTE: If the supplied voltage is lower than the nameplate volt-
age, the rated amperage should also be reduced. Use the following
formula:
DRA = (MV/NPV) * NPA (P-6)
Where:
DRA = De-rated Amperes.
MV = Measured Voltage.
NPV = Nameplate Voltage.
NPA = Nameplate Amperage.
CAUTION: In general, small pitch changes can cause large
changes in the required horsepower. Exercise care in adjusting the
blade pitch. A general guide is that 1 degree of pitch changes the
horsepower by 8%. Since this is only a rough estimate, manufac-
turers’ fan curves should be consulted for more exact figures.
14. If any pitch changes are made, re-measure the percent of
motor load.
CAUTION: Motors should not be operated over 100% load. To do
so could over heat the motor windings and cause a failure. This is
true of motors that have 110% or 115% service factors, due to
potential fluctuations in loads.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
Procedure Procedure Procedure Procedure Procedure
Fan Balancing Fan Balancing
Fan Balancing Fan Balancing Fan Balancing
PURPOSE
This procedure addresses the requirements for correcting
conditions of unbalance in cooling fans. This assures the unit will
operate with minimum amounts of vibration, which can cause
premature failures of gears, seals, bearings and couplings.
RECOMMENDED INTERVAL
After major component replacement or when excessive vibra-
tion is noted.
GENERAL
Prior to attempting to balance a fan, the pitch angle of each
blade must be set; the gear box and motor must be corrected for
soft feet; the unit must be properly aligned; and all mechanical
components must be in a good state of repair. Refer to Procedure
800.101 for inspections that must be made prior to balancing the
unit. This procedure describes a method for field balancing of a
fan, and requires no measurement of phase angle. Only amplitude
measurements are required.
PROCEDURE
1. Lock out and tag out the fan motor.
2. Securely mount a vibration pickup to the fan gearbox in
the radial plane.
3. Determine the fan RPM from the motor nameplate and the
gear ratio of the fan gear box.
Procedures
4. Set the vibration instrument to the filter-in position and
adjust the frequency to the operating RPM of the fan.
5. Assure rotating parts of the equipment is clear of all tools,
cables or other material, then remove the lock and tag.
6. Start the unit and record the amplitude of vibration
present, by fine tuning the vibration instrument to maxi-
mize the reading at operating RPM.
NOTE: Since many large fans operate at relatively low speeds (200
- 400 RPM), most vibration pickups will be below their linear
output range and may read amplitudes significantly below the
actual vibration levels. This will not affect the balancing process,
but does affect the balancing tolerance. The final balance should
be corrected to assure the unit is within tolerance!
7. Stop the unit and lock out, tag out the motor and secure
the fan blades.
8. Using a black felt-tip marker or similar device, number the
blades in a counterclockwise direction (1, 2, 3, etc.), starting with
any blade.
9. Attach a trial weight to the number one blade.
NOTE: Generally, a 2-ounce weight at the blade tip is sufficient for
large slow speed fans, when attached to the blade tip. The proper
size trial weight can be determined using the following formula:
Tw = .01 * RW/(.177 * (RPM/1000)
2
* n) (P-6)
Where:
TW = Trial Weight in ounces.
RW = The Rotating Weight in pounds.
RPM = The speed of the fan.
In = The distance from the center to the trial weight in inches.
10. Assure the trial weight is securely attached to the blade or
hub.
11. Remove the tag and lock and start the fan.
12. Read and record the new vibration amplitude. (This is trial
run #1.)
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
13. Stop the motor and lock out and tag out the motor and
secure the blades.
14. Remove the trial weight and attach it to blade number two
at the same distance from the center.
15. Repeat steps #10 through #13 for blades number two and
three, recording the amplitudes as trial runs two and three
respectively.
16. Record the total number of fan blades.
17. Determine the blade angle by dividing 360 by the number
of blades.
18. Select a convenient scale to layout the graphical represen-
tation of the unbalance by adding the original and the first
trial run amplitudes, assure there is adequate room on the
paper to lay out a circle with a radius equal to the sum of
these amplitudes.
NOTE: Generally, a scale of 1/4 inch equals two mils will be
adequate.
19. Draw a circle at the center of the page with a radius equal
to the original amplitude, using the selected scale.
20. Draw a line from the center of this circle to the 3 o’clock
position on its circumference, and label the line blade one.
21. Using a protractor, measure the blade angle from the blade
one line, counterclockwise to locate the point on the cir-
cumference for the blade two line.
22. Follow step 21 and locate blade number three.
NOTE: Blade three is located at an angle twice as large as that of
blade two.
23. At the location of blade one on the circumference of the
original circle, construct a circle with a radius equal to the
amplitude of trial run one, using the proper scale factor.
24. At the location of blade two on the circumference of the
original circle, construct a circle with a radius equal to the
Procedures
amplitude of trial run two, using the proper scale factor.
25. At the location of blade three on the circumference of the
original circle, construct a circle with a radius equal to the
amplitude of trial run three, using the proper scale factor.
26. At the point where the three trial run circles intersect, draw
a line to the center of the original circle, and label it T.
27. Measure the length of the line T using the same scale fac-
tor, to determine the amplitude.
NOTE: This constructed line represents the net unbalance effect of
the trial weight if it were located directly opposite the heavy spot
on the actual fan.
28. Determine the correction weight by dividing the original
amplitude by the amplitude of T, and multiplying by the
amount of trial weight added.
CORRECTION WEIGHT = (O/T) * TW (P-7)
29. Measure the angle from blade one to the line T. This is the
location of the correction weight.
30. If the location of the required correction weight does not
fall at a blade location, use one of the following methods
to determine correct location and amounts of weights to
add.
A. EQUIVALENT WEIGHT METHOD
i. Determine the unbalance by multiplying the distance
from the center of the fan to the trial weight location (in
inches), by the amount of the trial weight (in ounces).
ii. Measure off the correct angle from blade one and find a
suitable location where a weight can be secured. This
could be on the fan hub.
iii. Determine the correct amount of weight to be added at
this location by dividing the unbalance found in step [i]
by the distance from the new location to the center of the
fan.
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
B. VECTOR ANALYSIS METHOD
i. On top of the T line, draw a line from the original center
with a length equal to the required correction weight.
ii. Using the method in step 21, locate the blades on either
side of this line.
iii. At the end of this line, construct two lines parallel to the
two blade lines, sufficiently long to pass through the
opposite blade line.
iv. Measure the distance from the center of the original
circle, along each of the two blade lines to a point where
the parallel lines intersected the blade lines. These dis-
tances represent the amounts of correction weights to be
added to each of these blades.
31. Weigh out the proper amount(s) of correction weight(s) to
be added. Be sure to compensate for any bolting devices,
weldments or holes to be drilled. Securely fasten them at
their proper location.
32. Unlock and remove tag and start the unit, measuring and
recording the new vibration amplitude.
33. Repeat the procedure if amplitudes are not within toler-
ance.
34. Lock and tag out motor and remove vibration equipment.
35. Unlock, untag motor and place unit on-line.
Index

Index Index
Index Index Index
A
Alignment (Also see Misalign -
ment)
Equipment with Driveshafts
142
Equipment with Spool Pieces
144
Forms 185
Methods compared 123
Reverse Indicator 157
Calculator Method for 163
Graphical Solution for 160
Horizontal Alignment using
164
Vertical Alignment using 160
Rim and Face 109
50 steps in 154
Calculator Method for 130
Graphical Solution for 127
Vertical Alignment using 126
U-joint couplings 143
Vertical Pumps 145
Alignment Fixtures
For Rim and Face 117
For Reverse Indicator 158
Arcsine defined 69
B
Balancing
Determining which Method 85
Dual Plane 56
Single Plane 71
Slow speed fans 89
Bar Sag
Compensation in Rim and Face
Alignment 117
Compensation in Reverse
Indicator Alignment 158
Beat Frequencies defined 40
Bolts
Grade of 114
Torque Specifications for 171
Bore Readings
Rim and Face 144
Reverse Indicator 170
C
Catenary
Defined 148
Compensating for 151
Conversion Factors 177
Cosine
Function defined 22
Tables 173
Law of 62
Couplings
Sources of Unbalance in 50
Use of Keys in 116
Critical Equipment defined 15
D
Degrees to Radians 23
Drive Shafts 142
Dual Plane Balancing 71
E
Electric Motors
Magnetic vs. gravitational
Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
centers 106, 111
Measuring Horsepower of 218
Equivalent Weights 67
F
Force due to unbalance 43
Four Circle Balancing Method 89
G
Gravity, Acceleration of 5
H
Harmonics 36
Hooke’s Law 8
I
Indicator readings, about 120
Algebraic signs of 121
Dividing a Rim reading by 2
121
Taking for Rim and Face 125
J
Jack Bolts, use of in Moving
Machines 132
K
K (See Spring Constant)
L
Law of Cosine 62
Law of Sine 61
Length of Waves 37
Leveling (See Soft Feet)
M
Machine Measurements
Rim and Face 118
Reverse Indicator 159
Misalignment
Belt Drives 100
Measurements for 105
Phase Angle of 103
Types of 98
Vibration characteristics 105
Modulus of Elasticity 149
Effects on Natural Frequency
38
Moment of Inertia 149
Table for Solid Steel Shafts 183
Moving the Machine Horizontally
132
N
Natural Frequency defined 33
Wave Form of 36
O
Overhung Rotors 86
P
Procedures 191
Q
Quasi-Static Unbalance 47
R
Radians to Degrees 23
Resonance (Also See Natural
Frequency) 33
S
Sag in Steel Shafts 148
Shims 111
Sine
Function defined 22
Tables 173
Law of 61
Index
Single Plane Balancing 56
Soft Feet
Defined 112
Correcting 112
Correction form 190
Spring Constant Defined 10
Strain defined 9
Stress defined 9
T
Tangent (Table) 173
Thermal Growth defined 133
Coefficients of expansion
(Table) 134
Compensating for, Reverse
Indicator Alignment 165
Compensating for, Rim and
Face 137
Torquing of Fasteners 113
Over torquing of 115
Torque Values (Table) 171
Trial Weight
Force due to 64
U
Unbalance
Couple defined 46
Dynamic defined 48
Force of 43
Quasi-Static defined 87
Sources of 50
Static Correcting 45
Static defined 44
Types of 44
V
Vector Addition 68
Vertical Pumps 145
Vibration
Amplitude (See displacement
of)
Acceleration of 4
Damped 35
Defined 1
Displacement of 3
Diagnostic tool 12
Causes of 12
Equations for 27
Frequency of 3
Force of 5
Period of 2
Phase of 5
Planes of 14
Recording of 18
Recording Data (Form) 19
Severity Chart 54
Velocity of 4
Wave length of 37
W
Weight Removed by Drilling 179
Weights (See Trial Weights)

Rotating Machinery: Machinery:
Practical Solutions to Unbalance and Misalignment

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Rotating Machinery: Machinery:
Practical Solutions to Unbalance and Misalignment
by Robert B McMillan PE CEM

THE FAIRMONT PRESS, INC. Lilburn, Georgia

MARCEL DEKKER, INC. New York and Basel

iii

1944Rotating machinery: practical solutions to unbalance and misalignment/by Robert B. Lilburn. Balancing of machinery. I. All rights reserved.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data McMillan. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means. recording. Robert B. the publisher.. 700 Indian Trail. without permission in writing from the publisher. cm. ISBN 0-88173-466-7 (print) ISBN 0-88173-467-5 (electronic) 1.dekker.fairmontpress. Inc. authors. Inc. fax: 770-381-9865 http://www. Inc.) 0-8247-5052-7 (Marcel Dekker. NY 10016 tel: 212-696-9000.com Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0-88173-466-7 (The Fairmont Press.com Distributed by Marcel Dekker. 2.8’11--dc22 2003060258 Rotating machinery: practical solutions to unbalance and misalignment/ McMillan. or any information storage and retrieval system.) While every effort is made to provide dependable information. iv . 270 Madison Avenue. McMillan. Includes index. New York. p. Title. ©2004 by The Fairmont Press. Fairmont Press.M42 2004 621. Machinery--Vibration. TJ177. Robert B. and editors cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Inc. I. GA 30047 tel: 770-925-9388. including photocopy. electronic or mechanical. fax: 212-685-4540 http://www. Inc.

.................................... 64 Cautions .............................................................................................................. 43 Introduction ................................................... 40 CHAPTER 4—VIBRATION DUE TO UNBALANCE ...... 5 Hooke’s Law .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 62 Review .................. 61 Law of Cosine ..................................................................................................................... 22 The Cosine Function ................................................................ 43 Types of Unbalance ................................... 33 Beat Frequencies .................................................................................................................................................. 3 Velocity .......................................................... 21 List of Symbols ................................................ 44 Couple Unbalance ............................................................................................................... 21 The Sine Function ..................................................... 3 Displacement ........................................................................................................................................................................ 50 CHAPTER 5—FIELD BALANCING .................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 15 Recording Vibration Data ........................................ 4 Phase ............................... 27 CHAPTER 3—AND BEAT FREQUENCIES .................................................... 66 v ..... 4 Acceleration ......................................................................... 18 CHAPTER 2—DEVELOPING THE VIBRATION EQUATIONS ..................................................................... 56 Law of Sine .............................................. 46 Sources of Unbalance ...................................................................................... 12 Identifying Critical Equipment ........................ 55 Single Plane Balancing ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 63 Trial Weights and Force ..................... 55 Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 24 Deriving Vibration Equations ...................................... 1 Frequency ...........................Table of Contents Contents CHAPTER 1—INTRODUCTION ........................................ 8 Vibration as a Diagnostic Tool ............................................................. 33 Resonance ...............................................

................................. 71 Which Method ......... 142 U-joint Couplings ............................................................................................ 85 Overhung Rotors .. 118 About Indicator Readings ................ 109 Introduction ..... 100 Phase Angle Relations ................................................................................................................................................. 67 Two Plane Balancing ......... 117 Basic Machine Measurements .................................................................... 110 Electric Motors ...... 113 Couplings ..Equivalent Weights .... 143 Spool Pieces ................................................................................................................................................................................ 132 Thermal Growth and Hot Alignments .................................................................................................... 125 Vertical Alignment .. 111 Soft Feet .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 126 The Graphical Method .......................................................................................................... 86 Notes on Balancing ..................................................................................................... 103 Note on Electric Motors ........................................................ 97 Introduction ....................................................................................... 120 Taking Indicator Readings .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 130 Moving the Machine in the Horizontal Plane ................... 145 vi ............. 116 The Alignment Fixture and Bar Sag ............................................................................................................................................................. 98 Misalignment in Belt Drives ................................................................. 109 Overview .................................................................................................................................. 111 Shims ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 127 Calculator Method ............................................. 89 Graphical Solution ............................... 89 Introduction .................................. 87 CHAPTER 6—A SINGLE PLANE BALANCING TECHNIQUE .............................................................. 97 Types of Misalignment ................. 112 Torquing ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 89 CHAPTER 7—MISALIGNMENT OF MACHINE SHAFTS ......... 144 Bore Readings ........................................................................................................ 133 Equipment with Driveshafts .................................... 107 CHAPTER 8—ADVANCED MACHINE ALIGNMENT ........ 106 Summary ............................................................................

............ 200 Fan Deck Inspections ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 177 Fractions to Decimals ........... 202 vii ................................................................ 178 APPENDIX D—WEIGHT LOSS DUE TO DRILLING ....... 158 Machine Measurements ................... 157 Bar Sag ....................................................................................................... 154 CHAPTER 9—REVERSE INDICATOR ALIGNMENT ......................... 171 APPENDIX B—TRIGONOMETRIC TABLES .............................................................................................................................................. 165 Bore Readings ........... 202 Gearbox Inspections .... 159 Graphical Solution ................................................................................................................................................. 191 800............................................................ 201 Mechanical Equipment Support Inspections .................................................. 170 APPENDIX A—TORQUE SPECIFICATIONS ................... 200 Fan Stack Inspections ........ 179 APPENDIX E—PROPERTIES OF STEEL SHAFTS .............................................. 164 Thermal Growth .................. 196 800........................................................... 177 English to Metric Conversion Factors .................................................................... 160 Calculator Method .............................. 148 50 Steps for Precision Alignment ................................... 201 Fan Inspections ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 163 Horizontal Alignment ................................................................. 173 APPENDIX C—CONVERSION FACTORS ................................................................................................................................................. 183 APPENDIX F—ALIGNMENT FORMS ...............................................................................................................101 FAN INSPECTIONS .. 157 Introduction ...................................... 158 Vertical Alignment ....................................................................................Vertical Pumps ........... 185 PROCEDURES ........000 SAFETY NOTES ....................................... 145 The Catenary ..................................................................................

....................................................104 FAN ALIGNMENT .................................................................. 215 800.. 225 viii .........105 BLADE PITCH ADJUSTMENT ............................................................................ 204 800........................................................................... 205 Dial Indicator Method ...................................106 FAN BALANCING ..........................104....................................................................................................... 208 800........103 BLADE TIP CLEARANCE ....... 206 800.................................... 220 Index ........................... 211 800.Driveshaft & Coupling Inspections .................. 206 Feeler Gauge Method ............................. 217 800.............102 SOFT FEET INSPECTIONS ..................1 ALIGNMENT OF U-JOINT COUPLINGS ............................................................................................ 203 Motor Inspections ...............................................

Chapter 7 discusses the various types of misalignment and how to detect them through vibration analysis. Chapter 8 outlines an advanced rim and face method of precision alignment. Chapter 4 discusses the various forms of unbalance that can be present in rotating machinery. Both graphical and calculator solutions are presented. Many of these sources can be corrected during inspections and when performing sound maintenance practices. where phase angles are difficult to obtain. Chapter 6 deals with the three circle method of balancing slow speed fans. These two conditions account for the vast majority of problems with rotating equipment encountered in the “real world. Chapter 1 discusses vibration to provide a fundamental understanding of its characteristics. which are used to determine the operational integrity of rotating machinery.Preface Preface I t is the intent of this book to present both a theoretical and the practical understanding of unbalance and misalignment in rotating equipment. A discussion of which method to employ is also presented.” Numerous examples and solutions are inserted to assist in understanding the various concepts. Chapter 5 presents both the single plane and dual plane methods of balancing rotating equipment. A section deals with determining the criticality of equipment to provide a set of guidelines as to which equipment needs to be more closely monitored. Also presented are methods of determining the correct balancing weights and how to resolve them to locations where they can be attached. Finally. Chapter 3 deals with resonance and beat frequencies. and details their sources and cures. the chapter ends with a discussion of how to take and record field vibration measurements. Chapter 2 details the relationships between the various vibration characteristics to gain an understanding of the forces generated within operating machinery when conditions of unbalance and misalignment are present. Therix .

PE. examples are used to fortify the learning experience. In addition. suggestions. CEM El Paso. Robert B. Texas June. The appendix section has several useful tables and charts to assist the reader in solutions to other problems. and criticism will be highly regarded. vertical pump equipment with driveshafts and the catenary effect of long shafts are presented. 2003 x . a complete set of procedures for fan maintenance is included as guidelines for developing maintenance procedures for other equipment. spool pieces. Chapter 9 presents the reverse indicator method of alignment with both graphical and calculator methods. Your comments. Again.mal growth. I sincerely hope the readers of this book will find it useful in solving the everyday problems within their facilities. McMillan. equipment trains.

and gradually lowers the motion until the mass returns to the position of rest. there is always some form of friction or dampening which causes the mass to not quite reach the upper and lower limits. the mass would again move to its lower limit. it stretches the spring and moves the weight to the lower limit. Here. When a force is applied to the mass. In a friction-free system the mass would continue this motion indefinitely. as shown in Figure 1-1. the mass stops and reverses direction traveling back through the position of rest to the lower limit. Simple Vibratory Motion . the mass would continue to vibrate. Upper limit Force Rest position M Lower limit Figure 1-1. However. Simple vibration can be illustrated with a mass suspended by a constant force spring. all machine parts exhibit the same basic characteristics. Although this is a very simplified example. In real situations. if the force were applied again. When the force is removed. the stored energy in the spring causes the weight to move upward through the position of rest to its upper limit. By successively adding and removing the force.Introduction to Vibrations Chapter Introduction to Vibrations Vibrations V ibration is the back and forth or repetitive motion of an object from its point of rest.

When this vibratory motion is viewed with respect to time. Note that continued motion would only repeat the sine wave as shown. Generation of a Sine Wave Lower limit Some of the characteristics of this vibratory motion are PERIOD.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions It is important to note that an external force is required to keep the mass in motion. DISPLACEMENT. Upper limit Rest position M Time Figure 1-2. . as illustrated in Figure 1-2. Continued vibration of this spring mass system would only repeat the characteristics shown in this single cycle. FREQUENCY. ACCELERATION. The sign wave shown in Figure 1-2 represents one complete cycle. represented by the letter T. that is the weight moved from its rest position to its upper limit back through its rest position to its lower limit and then returned to its rest position. is the time required to complete one oscillation. PERIOD The period of the vibration. and return to the rest position. it is seen as a sine wave. AMPLITUDE and PHASE. All real systems are damped. unless acted upon by an external force. back through the rest position to the lower limit. VELOCITY. That is the total time required for the mass to move from the rest position to the upper limit. that is they will gradually come to their rest position after several cycles of motion.

Characteristics of Simple Vibratory Motion DISPLACEMENT Referring to Figure 1-3. NOTE: The Appendix section contains some conversion factors for the metric and English systems of measurement. In the metric system.001 inch). Rotational speed is also known as the fundamental frequency. Peak-to-peak displacement . The peak-to-peak distance is measured from the upper limit to the lower limit. since we measure the rotational speed of machinery in revolutions per minute.000001 meter or . and is usually measured in mils or thousandths of an inch (. Peak acceleration Peak velocity Distance Time Frequency (period) Figure 1-3. or simply expressed as 1/T. In dealing with machine vibrations.Introduction to Vibrations FREQUENCY Frequency is the number of complete oscillations completed in a unit time. Generally it is measured in either cycles per second or cycles per minute. and the three times rotational speed is the third harmonic.001 millimeter). the displacement is measured in microns or millionths of a meter (. the displacement of the mass can be seen. The two times rotational speed is known as the second harmonic. it is usually desirable to express frequency in terms of cycles per minute. Figure 1-3 displays some of the characteristics of a simple vibration. This allows examination of the vibration frequency in terms of multiples of the rotational speed.

the peak or maximum velocity is always measured and commonly expressed in inches-per-second peak. acceleration is constantly changing. vibration velocity is measured in meters per second peak. vibration acceleration is measured in terms of G’s or number of times the normal force due to gravity.1739 feet per second per second or 386. Like velocity. Once again. At the upper and lower limits. with respect to time.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions VELOCITY The velocity of a vibrating object is continually changing. Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity with respect to time.087 inches per second per second. ACCELERATION Again referring to Figure 1-3. While passing through the neutral or position of rest. the peak or maximum acceleration is shown to be at both the upper and lower limits of the mass travel. In the metric system. both the displacement and frequency are considered. and thus the displacement [inches] and the frequency [times per second] are considered. It can also be expressed as the rate of change in distance with respect to time. the standard for gravity is 980. the object stops and reverses its direction of travel. thus its velocity at these two points is zero. The importance of measuring the vibration in terms of acceleration is best understood by examining Newton’s first law of motion: . Remember velocity is inches-per-second. That is it is the change in displacement with respect to time squared. Normally. this is where the maximum acceleration occurs. and the peak acceleration is usually measured.665 centimeters per second per second. When expressing the vibration characteristic in terms of velocity. Gravitational force has been standardized as 32. acceleration is measured as G’s peak. Since the velocity is continually changing with respect to time. Since the vibrating object must reverse course at the peak displacements. the velocity is at its maximum. In the metric system.

Thus by measuring vibration in terms of acceleration. 180° A A B 1 Cycle (360°) Figure 1-4. Since the standard acceleration of gravity is 32. two weights are vibrating 180 degrees out of phase with each other. PHASE Phase is the position of a vibrating object with respect to another object at a given point in time.1739 Pounds) Acceleration (feet per second per second) Pounds of Force Note that the force of an object at rest is WG [its weight W times the acceleration of gravity G].1) Mass in pounds (1 pound Mass = 32. mass is simply an object’s weight times the acceleration of gravity. the force imparted by the vibration is also considered. It is this force that is important in determining the potential hazard to the machine and its components while undergoing vibration.1739 feet per second per second. Phase Relationship 180° Out of Phase B . In the simple example shown in Figure 1-4.Introduction to Vibrations F = MA Where: M = A = F = (1.

the phase angle can be expressed in degrees from a fixed reference point. beat frequencies are minimal unless the two sources are within 20 degrees of each other. In Figure 1-4. where there are 360 degrees in one cycle. Also 90° A B A B 1 Cycle (360°) Figure 1-5. this is not always the case. This will result in what is known as a BEAT frequency. The beat frequency is the frequency of the two vibrating sources coming into and out of phase with one another. the same two weights are shown vibrating with different frequencies.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Here. weight A has a phase angle of zero degrees and weight B has a phase angle of 180 degrees. it is possible to express a phase angle of a single vibrating weight with respect to a fixed object. the two weights have the same frequency and will remain 90 degrees out of phase as long as they continue to vibrate. In Figure 1-5. In Figure 1-5. the two weights are vibrating 90 degrees out of phase with one another. the phase angle is expressed in degrees. Note the resulting vibration when the two amplitudes are added to one another. As will be seen later. they will come in and out of phase with one another. Although both weights are vibrating in this example. When the two vibrating weights have different frequencies. In Figure 1-6. Phase Relationship 90° Out of Phase . Using the upper limit of motion as a reference point. Generally. It should also be noted that both vibrating weights have the same frequency. and thus will remain 180 degrees out of phase as long as they both are in motion.

the number of cycles may exceed hundreds of millions. a large stress was applied over a relatively low number of cycles. it rotates 1.000 times. the stress applied is considerably less. velocity is the preferred measurement of vibration for machine condition monitoring. These characteristics of vibration are useful in determining the source of the vibration. Bending a coat hanger until it breaks is an example of a low cycle fatigue failure. Consider an electric motor operating at 3.600 rpm. and the number of times it is applied. In one year. In most fatigue failures. Fatigue failures are a function of the amount of stress applied. especially in low frequency vibrations on machines that have brittle components.893. the stress that is applied is sufficient to snap the component. however. It becomes obvious that a small stress applied that many times could lead to a failure. Acceleration measurements are also important in that they A+B A B A B Figure 1-6.456. Displacement measurements can be important.Introduction to Vibrations note that this vibration will produce a beat frequency. because it considers both the magnitude and the frequency of the vibration. In this case. That is. Normally. This is important in metals that can fail from fatigue. Many machines have cast iron frames or cases that are relatively brittle and are subject to failure from a single large stress. Two Sources with Different Frequencies .

The dynamic force created by the vibration of a rotating member can directly cause bearing failure. overloads as little as 10% can cause damage over an extended period of time. However. if the weight is doubled. Note the yield point . In the elastic zone. Bar being Stretched with a Weight However. Generally a machine can withstand up to eight times its designed static load before bearing failure occurs. the stretch is also doubled. the bar will have a permanent elongation.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions directly measure force. is proportional to the applied force. a metal bar is stretched a distance dL. Although this seems insignificant. it can be shown that small unbalances can easily create sufficient dynamic forces to overload the bearings. and result in failure. Excessive force can lead to improper lubrication in journal bearings.2) Figure 1-7. The bar was stretched beyond its elastic limit. Hooke’s Law states that the amount of stretch. the bar returns to its original length. by applying a weight W. HOOKE’S LAW Referring to Figure 1-7. Graphing the amount of stretch versus the amount of applied weight produces a stress-strain curve as shown in Figure 1-8. Stated as an equation: F = (constant)(dL) (1. or elongation. Figure 1-9 illustrates the permanent offset caused by applying a force beyond a material’s elastic limit. if the force applied is too large. When the weight is removed. and when the force is removed. the metal bar will reach its yield point.

Stress is defined as the force per unit area or: Stress = F/A (1.4) Figure 1-10. Eventually. A typical Stress-Strain Curve.3) Strain is defined as the elongation divided by the original length or: Strain = dL/Lo (1. As the force is continually increased. the cross-sectional area of the material is reduced and thus the curve begins to reverse. A Material being Stressed until Failure . Stretching beyond the Elastic Limit is where the material changes from elastic to plastic.Introduction to Vibrations Figure 1-8. Figure 1-9. the force per unit area is too great and the material fails.

5): –kx = ma Or: a = –(k/m)× (1. the energy in the spring is: PE = (1/2k x0)(x0) = 1/2k x02 (1.x2) (1. 1/2k x02. Thus expressed in equation form: PE + KE = 1/2k x02 Substituting: 1/2k x2 + 1/2 mv2 = 1/2k x02 Or: mv2 = k(x02 .9) Now substituting from Equation (1.10) (1. Hooke’s Law applies and is expressed as: F = –kx Where: k = x = (1. The average force is half the maximum force and the distance is x0.6) The sum of the potential energy [PE] and the kinetic energy [KE] must remain constant and equal to the maximum potential energy.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions For a simple mass spring system that vibrates within the elastic limits of the spring.8) (1. Therefore.7) . Kinetic energy is the energy due to motion and is expressed as 1/2 mv2.5) the spring constant the distance from the rest position The minus sign in this equation indicates that the force of the spring is acting opposite to the direction in which the spring is stretched. If the spring were stretched from x = 0 to x = x0 work is done which is equal to the average force times the distance moved.1) into Equation (1.11) (1.

Introduction to Vibrations Equations 1.)(16 ft. Note: Mass is the weight divided by the acceleration of gravity (32.2) = 16 ft.11 are common forms for describing simple harmonic motion.1 Step 1 First./ft.2 or 0.1863 lbm. This is best illustrated by an example.2). Example 1. Mass Spring System for Example 1. = (–k)(1)ft. (a) what is the maximum velocity. (b) what is the maximum acceleration. the mass is 6/32.2 ft/sec. and (c) what is the velocity and acceleration when the distance is 2 feet? F M –xo o x +xo Figure 1-11. The maximum potential energy is 1/2 k x02.1 A spring is stretched 1 foot with a force of 2 pounds.-lbs. the spring constant must be determined./ft./ft.9 and 1. Using Hooke’s Law. F = –kx or –2 lbs. In this example. refer to Figure 1-3. . Step 2 Since the highest velocity occurs when × = 0. or 1/2k x02 = 1/2(2 lbs. 16 ft 32. If a 6pound weight is displaced 4 feet from the position of rest. using Equation (1. Therefore k = 2 lbs.9) and substituting the provided data from the example yields: 2 6lbs v 2max = 2 lbs.2ft/sec .

Using Equation 1.1863) Therefore V = 11. beat frequencies and natural or harmonic frequencies will be discussed in detail. A great deal of emphasis is placed on determining what is taking place even if you do not have access to a vibration analyzer. using Equation 1.1863)(2) = 21./sec.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions (a) V max = 13./sec.2 When the displacement equals 2 feet.47 ft. The maximum acceleration occurs when x = x0.11 (d) a = (k/m) × = (2/0. there will be a more detailed look at vibration as a diagnostic tool for determining unbalance and misalignment in rotating machinery. using Equation 1. damaged or eccentric gears • • • • • Bad drive belts or chains Hydraulic forces Electromagnetic forces Resonance Rubbing . but about 90% of all problems are due to unbalance or misalignment. The mode shape for objects vibrating in their first. Some of the other sources of vibration are: • • • • • Mechanical looseness Bad bearings (anti-friction type) Bent shafts Aerodynamic forces Worn. In addition. and third harmonic frequencies will also be presented.x2)/m = (2)(16 – 4)/(0.11: (b) a max = (2/0. There are numerous causes of vibration in machines.1863)(4) = 42.1 ft.35 ft. second.9 ft./sec. The characteristic of a machine’s vibration(s) can be used to identify specific problems./sec.9 (c) V2 = k(x02 .2 VIBRATION AS A DIAGNOSTIC TOOL In the following chapters.

One end may be moving vertically upward while the opposite end may be moving horizontally to the left at the same moment in time. many causes of vibration can be determined through inspections and proper assembly techniques. These include the frequency and the plane in which the vibration is present.Introduction to Vibrations The characteristics of vibration due to unbalance and misalignment are presented in the following chapters. Direction of Vibration Phase angle relations as well as the direction of vibration are discussed in the chapters on unbalance and misalignment. These simple measurements can be used to determine the conditions of unbalance and misalignment. Axial ➔ ➔ Radial Figure 1-12. the vibration will exist in the radial direction. Although a vibration analyzer is required to identify phase angle relations and to perform field or shop balancing of machine parts. The radial direction is usually broken up into the vertical and horizontal planes to better describe the characteristics of the vibration. axial direction. while radial vibration acts outwardly from the center of the shaft. Figure 1-13 shows the two directions of vibration with the radial vibration broken down into the vertical and horizontal planes. Axial vibration occurs along the axis of the shaft. This is known as the phase angle relation and will be useful in determining the cause of the vibration. In general. It should be noted that the radial vibration may not be in the same direction at opposite ends of the shaft. ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ . Figure 1-12 illustrates the two basic directions of vibration of a machine shaft. to assist in identifying the source of the vibration. or both.

A Basic Sketch of a Fan to be Analyzed . Direction of Vibratory Motion The first step in the analysis process should be the recording of all machine information and drawing a sketch of the machine. In this case.725 cpm B A 25 Ph 1. there are eight fan blades. which at 1.725 rpm C 8 Fan blades D Figure 1-14. the basic data for a simple fan are recorded. the frequency of 1.800 cycles per minute (cpm). It is important to know as many facts about a machine as possible.725 or 13. In figure 1-14.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Figure 1-13. In analyzing the machine above.725 rpm would exhibit a first order aerodynamic problem at the blade pass frequency of 8 × 1.

You have now established a criticality list. To evaluate each piece of equipment within the facility. IDENTIFYING CRITICAL EQUIPMENT When surveying a facility to determine the extent of a predictive maintenance program to be implemented on an on-going basis. and can assist in preparing a maintenance budget. Assign a value to each category based on the specific requirements of the individual company. all equipment should be surveyed and their basic maintenance condition established. It is important that some base line be established as a reference point. to assure the filter in readings capture all the frequencies that sum to the filter out reading. Although each facility will need to build criteria of their own. the following illustrates how to categorize equipment. Prior to providing another example. The prioritization of equipment will assure the proper focus on critical items and further assure that maintenance monies are wisely spent. This provides the overall maintenance condition of the facility. the criticality of equipment needs to be discussed. the following chart can be used. The amount of effort spent on any given piece of equipment will be directly dependent upon its criticality factor. one important factor is determining the criticality of equipment.Introduction to Vibrations (1 × rpm) will be important in determining both conditions of unbalance and misalignment. mechanical and electrical condition is noted as well as performance data. Two and three times operating speed should also be recorded. There are certain pieces of equipment within a facility that demand more attention than others. A filter out reading should always be recorded. Note that a vibration analyzer with a filter is required to isolate these frequencies. In addition. the filter out reading is used to determine the severity of the vibration. That is. Add the points scored by each piece of equipment and list them in descending order. As an . During the preliminary maintenance audit.

and flammable materials should be considered and assigned an appropriate value. and what parts may be interchangeable. corrosive. A comprehensive listing of all equipment should be assembled. These data should be plotted on the pump’s performance curve and a record maintained.00 6 Long.00 2 Critical to Operations 3. Category Value Yes/No ———————————————————————————————— 1 Hazardous Service 5. centrifugal pumps should have a block off test run to determine the actual head produced. Caustic. EQUIPMENT IDENTIFICATION ———————————————————————————————— No. poisonous. this will assist in determining what spare parts need to be carried in inventory. Hazardous Service This category of equipment can be a result of high temperature.10 7 Hard to find Parts 1.50 5 One of a Kind 2.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions example. The equipment with the most points is the most critical and deserves the most attention. The above categories are further defined below: 1. .00 4 Expensive to Repair 1.50 3 Chain Reactive 2. high velocity or the specific material being handled. The voltage and amperes should be measured and the actual horsepower consumed calculated. Tedious Repair 1. Further. high pressure. and any missing data should be requested from the manufacturer.10 ———————————————————————————————— Total Points ———————————————————————————————— The above form is filled out for each piece of equipment and then they are ranked by points.

special tools. . machining. One of a Kind (Exotic) This category of equipment covers machines that are difficult to impossible to replace. Some of these parts may take weeks to obtain. 7. foreign manufacture. older equipment.Introduction to Vibrations 2. Critical to Operation This category of equipment includes machines within the process that disrupt normal production. The repair of this type of equipment may require contract labor. The cost for down time should be considered when assigning a value to this group of equipment. this equipment has no backup or spare. Hard to find Parts This category of equipment covers machines whose parts are not off-the-shelf items. parts are expensive. 6. As an example. Long Tedious Repair This category of equipment covers machines that require specialized labor and tools. The following illustrates a form filled in for an acid pump: 3. or custom design. if an oil pump supplying oil to the bearings of a large press were to fail. requires outside labor. Chain Reactive This category of equipment causes other machines or equipment to fail when it fails. etc. it could potentially cause failure of the press as well. 5. This can be because of limited application. 4. Expensive to Repair This category of equipment covers machines that may be difficult to find parts for. In general.

The filter in readings should be taken at multiples of the operating speed.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions NUMBER 2 ACID INJECTION PUMP ———————————————————————————————— No. RECORDING VIBRATION DATA When a piece of equipment is analyzed. Tedious Repair 1. there are locations for both filter in and filter out.00 N 6 Long. with the results trended and reviewed by maintenance supervisors.50 Y 3 Chain Reactive 2. Readings should be taken and recorded for all the directions at the four identified points. In addition. In Figure 1-15. Analysis of this pump should be performed on a minimum of a 30-day basis. the entire spectrum should be scanned to determine the frequency of the vibration. Consideration should be given to provide all possible predictive techniques for this piece of equipment. Category Value Yes/No ———————————————————————————————— 1 Hazardous Service 5.10 N 7 Hard to find Parts 1. .50 Y 5 One of a Kind 2. H—horizontal.10 Y ———————————————————————————————— Total Points 11.00 Y 2 Critical to Operations 3.10 ———————————————————————————————— This pump would score an 11. In the event the majority of the vibration is not located.10 out of a possible 16. the four basic points to measure vibration are labeled A through D.2 and should be considered as a critical piece of equipment. and V—vertical. The area for recording data has three sections. Figure 1-15 illustrates a simple form for recording vibration data. the data should be recorded and kept in a file for analysis and future review.00 N 4 Expensive to Repair 1. A—axial.

Form for Recording Vibration Data .Introduction to Vibrations Figure 1-15.

It is important to understand the characteristics of these vibrations in order to identify the root cause. In Chapter 2. These characteristics are discussed in the following chapters.750 rpm. There is no substitute for experience. Various problems will exhibit different characteristics that will aid in evaluating the cause. and the more machines felt. These simple techniques will be used to determine the cause and possible corrective actions required. . The 1 × rpm is felt as a vibration. It is the primary intent of this book to allow technicians to perform simple field corrections and inspections to correct the majority of problems encountered. using a screwdriver. where the higher frequencies feel like a tingling sensation. By feeling a vibrating part rotating at 1. Most often.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Examples of analyzing vibration readings are presented in the chapters on unbalance and misalignment. the difference between 1 × rpm and several times rpm vibrations can easily be determined. additional equations are presented to determine the forces caused by vibrating machine members. the shape and direction of vibration can be determined. the more confident the technician. a machine or a component will exhibit vibration in several directions and may be vibrating at several different frequencies simultaneously. By placing the screwdriver on different parts and in different directions.

it is necessary to understand the basic trigonometric functions of sine and cosine. Since the vibratory motion repeats itself with respect to time. these functions are useful in describing the displacement. .14159 Seconds Inches per second Inches per second Degrees Mils Maximum displacement Mils Xo ———————————————————————————————— In order to describe the characteristics of vibration. velocity.Developing the Vibration Equations Chapter Developing the Vibration Equations LIST OF SYMBOLS ———————————————————————————————— Symbol Subject Units ———————————————————————————————— A Acceleration Inches per second2 AMAX D dx/dt dx2/dy2 f F G π t V VMAX ω X Maximum acceleration Peak-to-peak displacement Inches per second2 Mils The derivative of displacement with respect to time The second derivative of displacement with respect to time Frequency Frequency Acceleration of gravity Pi Time Vertical velocity Maximum velocity Angle displaced Vertical displacement Hz Cycles per minute Inches per second2 3. and acceleration associated with this type of motion.

Also. counter clockwise. the Y value would be minus one [–1]. It makes no difference what units are used— feet. Laying Out a Unit Circle To the right of the circle. and if the radius were drawn from the center to the 6 o’clock position. the Y direction is vertical. along these lines are laid off 360 degrees.—because all functional results will be described as ratios of whichever unit is chosen. or back and forth across the page. while the Y values will represent the vertical distance that the end of the line representing the radius R travels from zero. the end of the . we will construct a unit circle. inches. Also note that if the radius were drawn from the center to the 12 o’clock position. In Figure 2-1.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions THE SINE FUNCTION To begin. By closely observing the unit circle in Figure 2-1. and the other at minus one radius. one at zero. it can be seen if the degrees are increased from zero to 360. and is so labeled. one a plus one (one radius). representing the number of degrees in the unit circle. Figure 2-1 depicts a unit circle that is laid out from the three o’clock position. Figure 2-1. The X values will thus represent the number of degrees in the circle. that is a circle with a radius of 1 unit. the Y value would be plus one [+1]. The X direction is laid off horizontally. or up and down the page. meters. three straight lines are drawn. miles etc.

When 27 degrees is expressed in radians. Note that the sine is zero for both angles 0 and 180.4712388980 radians. The sine of any angle is defined as the Y value divided by the radius R or [Y/R]. the sine of the angle is equal to the Y displacement. continue to decrease to a minus one.1) Thus the angle 27 degrees expressed in radians would be: 27 degrees = 27 × pi/180 radians.Developing the Vibration Equations radius line will start at zero. and the sine of angle 270 is minus one.9564 instead of the correct answer of . the answer would be . namely .4540. where a is the angle expressed in degrees or radians. Calculating the sine of that number would yield the correct answer. In this special case where R =1. the sine of an angle is written as Sin(a). DEGREES OR RADIANS There are 2π radians in a circle. while the sine of angle 90 is plus one. . Since this book uses degrees. increase to plus one. This is the trigonometric sine function. When using calculators to obtain the sine or cosine of an angle. decrease to zero.4540. all angles and their trigonometric functions are presented in degrees.2) (2. it is . or . If the sine function of 27 degrees was taken but the calculator was in radians. Note that 0 degrees and 360 degrees are the same point [3 o’clock]. be sure to note whether the calculator calculates the functions in degrees or radians. In mathematical calculations. and therefore one radian is equal to 180° degrees. and finally increase back to zero at 360 degrees.4712389. Radians = Degrees × pi/180 Or: Degrees = Radians × 180/pi (2.

This was done so that the function could be plotted against degrees. The cosine of an angle is defined as the radius R divided by the X value. Just as the sine function was laid out using a unit circle. Figure 22 depicts a completed plot of the sine function for a revolution. and minus one at 180 degrees. That is starting at 3:00 o’clock (zero degrees) and proceeding counter clockwise back to the 3:00 o’clock position. THE COSINE FUNCTION The second trigonometric function to be defined is the cosine. plus one at 0 degrees. a complete sine wave is generated. The Development of the Sine Function In general. which is the cosine of angle a. Figure 2-2. Note that the value of X is plotted in the vertical direction. The cosine function is abbreviated in mathematical formulas as cos (a). again expressed in degrees. . the sine of the angle describes the elevation of the end of the radius for each degree of rotation.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions As the vertical distance for each degree is measured and plotted against the angle. so will the cosine be defined. Note that the cosine function is zero at 90 and 270 degrees. The complete circle plot of the cosine function is illustrated in Figure 2-3.

1 If a 20-foot ladder were leaned against a building so that its base was 10 feet from the building. how far up the building would the ladder reach? Y . Sine and Cosine Functions Example of the Sine and Cosine Functions Now that the first two basic trigonometric functions have been defined. Developing the Cosine Function R α X For the angle α X = R Cos α Y = R Sin α Figure 2-4. Example 2.Developing the Vibration Equations Figure 2-3. it is useful to examine a practical use for these functions.

The sine of 60 degrees is found to be . Sin (a) = Y/R For this example: Sin(60) = Y/R = . it follows that: Cos a = X/R In this example: Cos a = 10/20 = . the angle that has a cosine equal to .Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Referring to Figure 2-5 the length of the ladder is the radius.5 (2.5000 is 60 degrees.3) 20 Foot ladder ? R 10’ Figure 2-5.866025 × 20 or Y = 17. and the X distance is 10 feet. or 20 feet. Since the cosine of an angle is defined as X/R. since the sine of an angle is defined as Y/R. (2. Next look up the sin of 60 degrees. Using the Sine and Cosine Functions Using the trigonometric table in Appendix C.866025 By rearranging the equation.866025. Y = .4) .325 feet.

Cos = cosine of the angle ω @ time t . Sin ωt =1 occurs at.8) V = Xo ωCos (ωt) Vmax occurs @ Cos (ωt) = 1. 7π/ 2… (2n–1) π/2 Figure 2-6. π/2.6) Note: Cycles per second will be expressed in Hertz (Hz) Xmax occurs @ Sin ωt) = 1. the vertical displacement X at any time t can be expressed as: X = Xo Sin ωt Where: Sin = the sine of the angle ω at time t ω = 2πf f = 1/t [frequency in cycles per second] (2. 4 π…nπ Where: Vmax = Maximum Velocity.5) (2. π.Developing the Vibration Equations DERIVING VIBRATION EQUATIONS Referring to the Figure 2-6. Basic Sine Wave The velocity at any time t is expressed by: V = dx/dt (2. 5π/2. See Figure 2-7. Cos ωt =1 occurs at. 3π/2. 2 π.7) And: (2. 3 π.

001 D)/2 [D in inches] (2.13) .Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Figure 2-7. then: F = f * 60 and: f = F/60 (2.10) It now follows that the relation between the maximum velocity and the peak-to-peak displacement can be expressed by the following equations: Vmax = Xo ω V = . then: D = 2 × Xo and: Xo = D/2 [D in mils] Xo = (.9) (2.8) Letting the capital letter D stand for the peak-to-peak displacement in mils. Maximum Velocity and Maximum Acceleration in a Sine Wave If the capital letter F stands for the frequency in cycles per minute.001*D × 2°F (inches per second) 2 60 (2.12) (2.11) (2.

Developing the Vibration Equations

V = D*°F 60,000 60,000 °F

(2.14)

D=

(2.15)

Acceleration is the second derivative of displacement with respect to time, which is expressed as: A = dx2/dy2 = Xo ω2 Sin (ωt) (2.16)

Amax occurs @ Sin (ω t) = 1; Sin (ωt) = 1 @ π/2, 3π/2, 5π/2,… (2n–1) π/2 Letting the capital letter “G” stand for acceleration in terms of G’s, then: G = A/[32.2 * 12] (inches per second per second) G = A/386.4 G = [Xo ω2]/386.4 Xo = D/2 = [.001 * D]/2 ω2 = [2*π*f]2 Substituting from Equation (2.8) ω2 = [(2πF/60)]2 Substituting from Equations (2.20) & (2.21)
2 * °F G = .001 * D × 2 60 2
2

(2.17) (2.18) (2.19) (2.20) (2.21)

(2.21)

/386.4

(2.22) (2.23) (2.24)

G = .014190252 * DF2/1,000,000 G = .014190252 * D * [F/1000]2

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions

D = [G/.014190252] * [1000/F] 2 D = [70.47090965 * G * [1000/F] 2

(2.25) (2.26)

Now using the above relations to build the relation of acceleration to velocity: V = Xo ω And; A = X o ω2 And; G = A/386.4 Thus: G = Xo ω2/386.4 G = Xo ω* ω/386.4 And substituting from Equation (2.27): G = V ω/386.4 G = V*(2πf)/386.4 And: G = 2πFV/(60 * 386.4) Rearranging: G= FVπ/11,592 Or: G = FV/3,689.848201 V = 3,689.848201 * G/F (2.33) (2.34) (2.32) (2.31) (2.32) (2.30) (2.30) (2.31) (2.27) (2.28) (2.29)

The use of these equations will transform the three forms of vibration characteristics to one another. Example 2.2 A shaft has a peak-to-peak displacement reading of 3.4 mils @ 36.5 Hz. What is the velocity and what is the acceleration?

Developing the Vibration Equations

Using Equation 2.14: f = 36.5 and F = 36.5 × 60 V = [πDF]/60,000 = [3.14159 × 3.5 × 36.5 × 60]/60000 V = .401 inches per second Using Equation 2.24 G = .014190252 * D * [F/1000]2 = .014190252 × 3.5 × [36.5 × 60/1000]2 G = .2382 Using Equation (2.18) A = 386.4 * G = 92.04 feet per second per second. If the shaft weighed 23.6 pounds, it would have a mass of: M = W/g = 23.6/32.2 = .7329 F = MA = .7329 * 92.04 = 67.46 pounds. Thus the force generated by this vibration is almost three times the weight of the shaft. Using the vibration severity table at the end of Chapter 3, a velocity reading of .401 inches per second rates as rough, and some action should be taken. Example 2.3 A centrifugal pump operating at 3,450 rpm shows a filter in vibration of .114 inches per second at operating speed. What is the peak-to-peak displacement? If the impeller and shaft weighs 40 pounds, what is the force produced? Using Equation (2.15)
D = 60000 × .114/(3.14159 × 3450) = .63 mils peak-to-peak
The mass of the rotating element is 40/32.2 = 1.24 pounds mass.
Using Equation (2.33)
G = 3450 × .114/3689.8484201 = .1066
The force generated is:
F = 386.4 × G = 368.4 × .1066 = 41.19 pounds force.

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions

Thus the force generated by this vibration is almost three times the weight of the shaft. Using the vibration severity table at the end of Chapter 3, a velocity reading of .401 inches per second rates as rough, and some action should be taken. Example 2.3: A centrifugal pump operating at 3,450 rpm shows a filter in vibration of .114 inches per second at operating speed. What is the peak-to-peak displacement? If the impeller and shaft weigh 40 pounds, what is the force produced? Using Equation 2.15 D = 60000 × . 114/(3.14159 × 3450) = .63 mils peak-to-peak The mass of the rotating element is 40/32.2 = 1.24 pounds mass. Using Equation 2.33 G = 3450 x . 114/3689.8484201 = .1066 F = 386.4 × G = 368.4 × . 1066 = 41.19 pounds force.

Figure 3-1. Free Vibration Free vibration is simply an object vibrating at its natural or resonant frequency. In the figure above. the amplitude of the vibration decreases gradually with time. Since no additional external force is added. the mass was displaced to the top of its motion and released. One characteristic of a vibration occurring at a natural frequency is that very little force is required to maintain the vibration. Figure 3-1 illustrates free vibration. All machines and machine components act like a spring-mass system. it is necessary to understand resonance and beat frequencies. It vibrates at its natural frequency. The vibration can either be free vibration or forced vibration. as compared to the force required to maintain a vibration at . They vibrate due to some external force acting upon them.Resonance and Beat Frequencies Chapter Resonance and Beat Frequencies RESONANCE T o have a better grip on operating equipment.

2 or . Vibrating at Natural Frequency Two factors influence the natural or resonant frequency of an object. What will be the resulting new natural frequency? The object originally has a mass of 20/32.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions a frequency other than the natural frequency. This is true even if the force is relatively small.325 lb. It is decided to add 5 pounds to the object to change its natural frequency.1) Since the original frequency was 25 Hz and the original mass was . Example 3. The original frequency can be described by: f = 1/(2π(m/k).77639 pounds. using Equation (3. using the constant k and the new mass./ft.2) (3. Its new mass will be 225/32. For a given object. and substituting into .5 Rearranging to solve for the constant k: k = m (2πf)2 (3. Now.2) yields k = 15. and increasing the stiffness of an object increases its natural frequency.1 A 20-pound object vibrates at its natural frequency of 25 Hz. adding mass lowers its natural frequency. the amplitude will increase dramatically. Figure 3-2.62111 pounds. its mass and its stiffness.62111 pounds.2 or . If the applied force is exactly in phase with the natural frequency.

Most vibrations in machine elements are of the damped type as illustrated in Figure 3-3. the stiffness of the object is increased by welding a bracket in place.Resonance and Beat Frequencies Equation (3. and substituting into Equation (3.1) yields f =22.2 or . In most cases. Example 3. What is the resulting new natural frequency? The new mass is 21/32. This frequency change would be adequate to keep the object from being excited by an external force at 25 Hz. Using the new mass and the new constant k. The bracket weighs 1 pound and increases the stiffness to 28.6522 pounds. This is only a 10. This change in the stiffness resulted in a 33.68% change in the natural frequency of the object. Generally. Figure 3-3.. the vibrating source is operating at a fixed speed and a significant reduction in its driving force cannot be accomplished.6% change in frequency for a 40% increase in mass./ft. Although most parts do not have dampers or shock absorbers attached to them.1) yields f = 33. Of course. Damped Vibration . the best way to solve the situation is to remove the source of the original vibration. adding mass to a component is not practicable and the component must be stiffened.2 In the system described in Example 3.42 Hz. contact with other components of a machine has the effect of dampening the vibration.750 lb.1. Vibration isolators or additional dampening can sometimes be added.36 Hz.

Criticals are often experienced as a machine comes up to operating speed. third harmonic. the component may be vibrating at its natural frequency. If one or more of these forces occurs at or near the natural frequency of one of the components. there are normally many external forces that act upon the machine components. First Critical Vibration Note the different shape of the wave for the simply supported component versus the cantilever or overhung component. There are also multiples of this natural frequency called the second harmonic. resonance can be detected. These are also referred to as the second critical and third critical. Resonant frequency in shafts or rotors is often referred to as a critical speed. This is often true for high-speed machines. it will vibrate with an increased amplitude. For the simply supported component. The cantilevered or overhung component will have its high- . which may pass through one or more criticals before reaching operating speed. if the vibration is the highest at its midpoint. and decreases as either end is approached. etc. etc. Even without a vibration analyzer. These repetitive forces are responsible for the vibration to appear as though it were free and not dampened. feeling along the length of a component undergoing vibration at one of its critical frequencies.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions When a machine is in operation. Figure 3-4 shows the wave shape of a component vibrating at its natural frequency. The first critical is simply the natural or resonant frequency of the vibrating element. Figure 3-3.

and then increase as it approaches the second harmonic of the component. If the frequency were to continue to increase above the natural or fundamental frequency. Simply marking the location of the highest perceived amplitude on a component with a felt marker can assist in determining the mode of the vibration. it is easy to visualize what the third. fourth. Figure 3-5 depicts components undergoing second harmonic vibration. Figure 3-5.3) . a system in resonance would have wavelengths of: λ = 2L/n (3. The overall amplitude of the second harmonic is not as great as the amplitude of the first harmonic. it would first decrease. the component again vibrates freely and the amplitude increases dramatically. At the second harmonic. and fifth harmonic would look like. Figure 3-6.Resonance and Beat Frequencies est amplitude at its unsupported end. Wave Length Letting (λ) represent the length of the wave. but the frequency is twice as great. Second Harmonic Wave Forms By examining Figure 3-5.

Pipe Vibrating at its Natural Frequency Example 3.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Where: L = n = length 1. Note that at the two supports. the velocity may also be expressed as: v = (E/p). The distance between .4) Since the speed of compression waves is related to density and the elasticity of a material. In this case. (3. In Figure 3-7. the amplitude is zero. These are referred to as node points.5 Where: E = Modulus of elasticity p = Mass density This equation states the velocity is equal to the square root of the modulus of elasticity divided by the mass density.3 The pipe in Figure 3-7 was struck near its center and was found to vibrate at a frequency of 2 Hz.2. a simply supported pipe is vibrating at its natural frequency.3. the center has the greatest amplitude and is referred to as an anti-node.5) Figure 3-7.4… The velocity of the wave can be expressed as: v = fλ (3.

The modulus of elasticity for steel is approximately 30 × 106. and the third harmonic frequency is 144 Hz. Example 3. Since steel weighs 480 pounds per cubic foot. Step 2. . If a frequency near these existed. and then the third harmonic λ3 = 2L/3. Since L equals 4 feet. and 144 ±10% Hz. Obviously.3 Hz. 96 ±10%. Since the pipe is vibrating at its first harmonic. What is the velocity of the wave? What frequencies should be avoided so that the pipe will not resonate at its natural frequency or one of the first three harmonics? Step 1.Resonance and Beat Frequencies supports was measured to be 12 feet. Step 2. Using Equation (3-5) the velocity is found to be 17. the velocity is found to be v = (24)(2) = 48 feet per second. What should be the recorded frequency? Step 1. n = 1.2 × 12))/1728 or . For a machine. From Equation (3. λ = 2L. Since the shaft is vibrating at its first critical or natural frequency. vibrating at resonance or one of its harmonics. the mass of a cubic foot is (480/32. Therefore.5 inches per second. there are only three basic methods that can be employed to correct the vibration.023. the second harmonic frequency is 96 Hz.4). By rearranging Equation (3. f = v/λ or the frequency anticipated is approximately 177.3). The second harmonic λ2 = L. Thus the three frequencies to be avoided are 48 ±10%. λ = 24 feet. and substituting into Equation (3. Rearranging Equation (3-4).00071888 pounds mass per cubic inch.4) f = v/λ. consideration should be given to relocate the distance between pipe supports. or machine component.4 A steel shaft is simply supported with 4 feet between supports. λ = 8 feet or 96 inches. the distances 6 feet and 4 feet should be avoided. The shaft is struck at its end and allowed to vibrate freely.

2. The largest amplitude measured with a filter in reading will be the natural frequency. Care must be exercised when altering the stiffness of a component or machine. 3. The easiest way to measure the natural frequency of an object is to first remove all sources of excitation. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions 1. Next. the object is struck and allowed to vibrate freely.e. slender members. the frequency is recorded. Second. BEAT FREQUENCIES Beat frequencies are vibration frequencies caused by two or more vibrating sources that are vibrating at slightly different frequencies. Altering the location of support members will alter the effective length and alter the resonant frequency. 1/2. Usually. This may not be practical in many cases since most equipment must operate at some given speed.5 A machine is found to produce a vibration at a frequency of 1. etc.. A second machine nearby produces a vibration at 1. 1/3. The resultant beat frequency is the difference in the two sources.280 Hz. It is always best to remove or at least decrease the source or driving force of one or more of the vibrations. Using a vibration instrument. Use caution so as not to place a support at a location which will create other harmonics—i. First. Example 3. the external force that is exciting the component or machine can be eliminated or its frequency changed. What is the resulting beat frequency? . This leaves altering the stiffness of the component. This is usually a good choice for piping systems or other long.275 Hz. so that its strength is not also effected. by adding or removing mass. mass changes must be significant to alter the natural frequency sufficiently to eliminate the vibration.

The actual frequency of a beat is the sum of two or more vibrating sources adding and subtracting from one another as illustrated in Figure 3-8. Note that the composite wave is not a perfect sine wave as are the contributing sources. They can be eliminated by either removing one or more of the sources of vibration. The beat frequency is the result of the two amplitudes coming in and out of phase with one another. while the second machine would have completed 128 cycles and be at a maximum. or changing the frequency of one or more of the sources. The result is a beat frequency with an amplitude greater than either contributing source.5 cycles and be at a minimum. and a frequency that is comprised of the multiple vibration amplitudes adding and subtracting from one another. Note that this is the difference in the two original frequencies. Thus the beat frequency is produced at 5 Hz. A component that is vibrating close to its natural frequency or one of its harmonics can exhibit beat frequencies as well. . amplitudes. and phase angles are contributing to the beat wave. both machines were in phase. It can be seen that at time 1/10th. frequency and phase angle of the contributing sources. where two vibrating sources of different frequencies. If the two amplitudes were equal. If at time zero. A simple beat frequency is shown in Figure 3-8. the resulting beat would be at its maximum. the vibrations would be 180 degrees out of phase and thus cancel each other. they subtract from one another. that is they were both at the maximum amplitude.Resonance and Beat Frequencies Step 1. when they are out of phase. 3/10th. The frequency of the wave form depends on amplitudes. 5/10th … will produce minimums while 2/10th. At 1/5th of a second. After 1/10th of a second. 6/10th … will produce minimums. 4/10th. their amplitudes are added together. When they are in phase. Both machines would now be at a maximum and the amplitudes would add together. Beat frequencies come into and out of phase as the contributing waves add and subtract from one another. the first machine would have completed 255 cycles and the second machine 256 cycles. the first machine would have completed 127.

. Beat frequencies can excite the natural frequency of one another. it may be subject to a beat frequency as well. or perhaps a third member will go into resonance. Careful analysis will assist in determining the best way to eliminate problems with beat frequencies.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Figure 3-8. In general. even though there appears to be no second vibrating source. beat frequencies can be easily detected since they come in and out of phase. causing the vibration amplitude to increase and then appear to go away. Beat Frequency If a part vibrates within 10% of its natural frequency or one of its harmonics.

or a tenth of an ounce at ten inches from the rotational center. the vibration due to unbalance will be in the radial plane with very little vibration sent in the axial direction.1) Where: F rpm in-oz. . With a simply supported rotating element. high axial vibrations may occur.Vibration Due to Unbalance Chapter Vibration Due to Unbalance INTRODUCTION U nbalance is the most common source of vibration in rotating equipment. Vibration due to unbalance occurs at a frequency of 1 × rpm of the unbalanced element. The force generated by unbalance can be expressed as: F = 1. See Figure 4-9. = inch ounces of unbalance. NOTE: An inch-ounce of unbalance is simply the amount of unbalance weight in ounces times the distance from the center of rotation.774 * (rpm/1000)2 * in-oz. = Force in pounds. = is the rpm of the unbalanced element. and its amplitude is proportional to the amount of unbalance. Normally. (4. In the case of an over hung rotor. that is a bearing at both ends of the shaft. Thus an inch-ounce can be a oneounce weight at one inch from the center of rotation. and the amplitude in the axial plane may equal those measured radially. the vibration signal is measured in both the vertical and horizontal planes. expressed in inches.

the amplitude and phase of the vibration at both ends of the shaft would be the same. the center of rotation and the center of gravity should be the same. If the element were placed on knife-edges. When they are not. With a statically unbalanced element rotating. In Figure 4-2 a single weight equal to the unbalance is placed exactly in the same plane as the unbalance and exactly 180 degrees away. TYPES OF UNBALANCE Unbalance can be of four basic types. In a machine element. This brings the rotational center and the center of the shaft in-line. . STATIC UNBALANCE Center of Rotation Unbalance Weight Centerline of the Shaft Figure 4-1. Figures 4-2 and 4-3 show the proper way to balance a pure static unbalance. Static unbalance is shown in Figure 4-1. This static unbalance can be easily corrected by adding or removing the proper amount of weight as long as it is done in the proper plane. it would rotate until the heavy spot was on the bottom. static. quasistatic and dynamic. unless they are constrained. couple. vibration due to unbalance will result.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Rotating elements tend to rotate about their center of gravity. Static Unbalance Static unbalance is defined as an unbalance where the center of rotation is displaced parallel to the geometric center of the rotating element.

The correction used in Figure 4-4 results in another type of unbalance. This also causes the rotational center to align with the center of the shaft.Vibration Due to Unbalance CORRECTING STATIC UNBALANCE Static Unbalance Weight Acceptable Correction Weight Figure 4-2. Correcting Static Unbalance with Two Weights . two equal weights that equal the weight of the unbalance are placed equal distances from the unbalance and 180 degrees away. Correcting Static Unbalance In Figure 4-3. Couple unbalance is defined as the condition of unbalance where the element’s center of rotation passes through the element’s geometric centerline at the element’s center of gravity. couple unbalance. CORRECTING STATIC UNBALANCE Static Unbalance Acceptable Correction Weights Figure 4-3.

COUPLE UNBALANCE FORCE FORCE Figure 4-5. it is not in the same plane. Couple unbalance is illustrated in Figure 4-5. Note that even though the shaft is statically balanced. but be 180 degrees out of phase. Creating a Couple Unbalance Although the correction weight is equal to the unbalance and is placed 180 degrees away. The piece is statically balanced.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions CORRECTING STATIC UNBALANCE Static Unbalance Weight Unacceptable Correction Weight Figure 4-4. Both ends of the shaft would vibrate with the same amplitude. the element would tend to wobble about its center when the shaft is rotated. Forces in Couple Unbalance . but when rotated the two weights act in different planes causing couple unbalance.

Again. unlike static unbalance.Vibration Due to Unbalance Unlike static unbalance. A couple is basically two equal forces acting in opposite directions. Thus a couple unbalance can only be detected with the element rotating. Figure 4-6 shows quasistatic unbalance. Once again. These combinations are classified as dynamic and quasi-static unbalance. Note that the quasi-static unbalance is made up of a static unbalance and a Couple unbalance. . couple unbalance cannot be corrected in a single plane. Dynamic unbalance is defined as unbalance where the axis of rotation does not coincide or touch the element’s geometric centerline. and through two different planes. The fourth type of unbalance is dynamic unbalance and is the most common type encountered in machinery. In only a few cases will either pure static or pure couple unbalance be detected in machinery. couple unbalance cannot be detected by placing the element on knife-edges. Most often it is a combination of both. but not at its center of gravity. Quasi-Static Unbalance Quasi-static unbalance is the condition of unbalance where the center of rotation intersects the element’s geometric centerline. QUASI-STATIC UNBALANCE Center of Rotation Center of the Shaft Figure 4-6. and being out of phase by approximately 180 degrees. Quasi-static unbalance can be detected by the amplitudes of the vibration being very different at each end of the shaft. Dynamic unbalance is depicted in Figure 4-7. this type of unbalance must be corrected in two or more planes. but rather it requires corrections to be made in two or more planes. The element is essentially statically balanced.

What force was generated due to unbalance? Step 1. most often it will exhibit phase angles that are neither in phase nor directly opposite from one another. Later when it was reassembled in the field. how it was assembled.200 rpm.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions DYNAMIC UNBALANCE Center of Rotation Center of the Shaft Figure 4-7.00005"). once they are understood. Most of these conditions can be avoided. When a piece of equipment is to be worked on. it was assembled with the keyway in the 6 o’clock position. causing the wheel to be assembled five hundredths of a thousandth of an inch from its true center (. The rotor weighed 20 pounds (320 ounces) and was turned by a Solar Saturn Gas Turbine at 23.1 Assume a centrifugal compressor wheel was balanced on a dynamic balancing machine and was assembled with its keyway in the 12 o’clock position. Example 4. and in some more critical applications. Many of the conditions that cause unbalance in rotating equipment are the result of assembly in the field and/or maintenance and repair practices. This type of unbalance must be corrected in two or more planes. it pays to have a complete understanding of how each part of the equipment was originally balanced. This assembly error would result in the center gravity of the rotor being five hundredths of a thousandth of an inch . Dynamic Unbalance Dynamic unbalance most often exhibits different amplitudes of vibration at each end of the rotating element. In addition.

750 rpm.450 rpm.21 inchounces of unbalance would be present.774 × (3450/1000)2 × 4.00005 = . Thus the inch-ounces of unbalance was 320 × .1) yields F = 1.49 ounces per cubic inch.Vibration Due to Unbalance (. Example 4. how much force would be generated? 3. Figure 4-8.21 = 88. it can be easily seen that the life of these parts will be greatly reduced.2 pounds of force. If an electric motor had a 3-inch shaft and rotated at 3.016 = 15. Using the formula below to determine the force. and had a 1/2" × 1/2" × 3" keyway that was not filled with key material.2 Steel weighs approximately 485 pounds per cubic foot or about 4.89 pounds of force.016. That is over 75% of its weight! Although most of the equipment does not rotate at that high an rpm.774 × (23200/1000)2 × .00005") from its balanced position to its field assembly position.37 ounces.450 RPM Missing Key Material 3” Dia. Thus 4. Using formula (4. F = 1. much of the more common electric motor driven equipment does operate at 3. for a short period.75 cubic inches which weighs approximately 3. Although most machines’ bearings can withstand loads of up to eight times the normal static load. The missing key material is . The center of mass for the key material would be 1-1/4 inches from the motor centerline. .450 or 1. Example of Missing Key Material Step 1.

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions SOURCES OF UNBALANCE Most electric motor manufacturers standardize on balancing their rotating elements with the entire keyway filled with a half key. That is the shaft is totally filled. Coupling manufacturers practice the same procedures when balancing their couplings. Using the example above and viewing Figure 4-8 will illustrate the problems with not using the proper key during assembly. Equipment with a history of coupling. As the person responsible for maintenance and repairs. Sources of Unbalance As in all maintenance activities. When assembling these two elements. or seals. the less stress it will be subjected to. The less vibration a machine has. Any of these conditions can lead to premature failure of bearings. cleanliness is of extreme importance in maintaining the inherent balance of rotating machinery. couplings. an L-shaped or T-shaped key must be used to maintain the original balance. Figure 4-9 shows some of the more common sources of unbalance associated with coupling installation. . Extra Washer Missing Washer Missing Key Material Excess Key Material Hub Loose on Shaft Bolt in Backwards Bolt too Long Figure 4-9. bearing. it should be your goal to assure all possible sources of unbalance are inspected and corrected if necessary. A small particle of dirt and subsequent component failure. and the longer it will survive. or seal failures should be inspected for sources of unbalance.

001-inch thick wedges between the flywheel and the crankshaft. Vibration due to unbalance occurs at a frequency equal to the 36” . Uneven buildup will result in an unbalance that will lead to early failure of bearings and seals.001 = 138 inch-ounces. a piece of debris .3 A 6-foot diameter nodular iron flywheel weighs 8. During assembly. such as fan blades. Example 4. QUASI-STATIC UNBALANCE 12” 12” C L Figure 4-10. Cross-sectional View of the Flywheel Step 1. the higher the rpm the less the unbalance that can be tolerated. The above example illustrates that even low rpm machinery can have excessive forces due to unbalance.774 × (300/1000)2 × 138 = 139. The unbalance force is F = 1. care should be taken to clean all buildup of dirt and debris from rotating components.634 pounds. The unit operates at 300 rpm. and is assembled onto an engine’s crankshaft with bolts in a 12-inch circle. The weight of the flywheel is displaced .8 pounds. thus the unbalance in inch-ounces is U = 8634 × 16 × .001" from the center.Vibration Due to Unbalance When performing maintenance activities. How much force is generated as a result of this misalignment of the flywheel? A cross-sectional view of the flywheel is shown in Figure 4-10. However.

SIMPLY SUPPORTED OVERHUNG Figure 4-11. and only a single-phase mark will be present.33). Now.4 An electric motor driven pump operates at 1. what was the unbalance force? If the keyway was 1/2" × 1/ 2.42 feet per second per second. See Figure 4-11. Now the force . G = F*V/ 3. The vibration will be largest in the radial direction. Since the vibration was due to unbalance. Thus.0527.689.745 pounds mass.42 = 14. Step 2.2 = .” how long was the missing key if the motor shaft was 4 inches in diameter? Step 1.750 cycles per minute. The motor’s rotor weighs 24 pounds. and has an amplitude proportional to the amount of unbalance.4 * G = 386. Types of Support for Rotating Elements Example 4. Using Equation (2.106/3689.4 * . and A = 386.750 cpm. Equipment with overhung rotors may exhibit high axial vibrations due to unbalance.745* 19. F = MA = .0527 = 19. it was occurring at 1 × rpm or at a frequency of 1.750 rpm and a velocity reading taken on the inboard motor bearing was . The velocity reading needs to be converted into acceleration and then into the force.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions rotational speed [1 × rpm] of the rotating element.848201. The mass of the rotor is W/g = 24/32. If the vibration was due to a missing piece of key material in the coupling.848201 = . G = 1750 * .106 inches per second.47 pounds force. F = 1.

-oz. However if the amplitude decreases with the decrease in speed of the motor. the missing portion would be 1/2 × 1/4 or 1/8 ounce per inch of length. Cleanliness and attention to detail can avoid many of these situations. The center of the missing key material would be at a radius of 1-3/4 inches.Vibration Due to Unbalance due to unbalance is expressed as F = 1. the problem is most likely electrical.-oz. measure the amplitude and then turn off the power. Some vibration analyzer companies provide shaft riders which allow the vibration probe to be placed against the rotating shaft to obtain a more accurate reading. it is obvious that the smoother a part runs.7/4. If the vibration disappears immediately. thus the missing material would weigh 16. check for balance and/or misalignment.54/1. the longer the life of the equipment. Here. Many conditions of unbalance are best left to shop balancing rather than field corrections. Steel weighs approximately 4.6/.774 * (rpm/1000) 2 in.7 ounces. One major pitfall of using these guidelines is the relationship of the weight of the rotating element to the total equipment mass and stiffness.49 ounces per cubic inch. However. In the case of electric motors. there are many conditions of unbalance that can be recognized and corrected during routine maintenance. so rearranging the equation. therefore the missing material would be 2. in.49 or . There are a number of published vibration severity charts that give guidelines as to how much vibration is too much.75 or 2. Regardless of the method employed. Step 3. A small rotating element in a massive machine that is well anchored may not exhibit severe vibration when readings are taken on the machine frame. = 14.8 inches. the inch-ounces of unbalance is to be determined. = F/1. The length of the missing material is . Since the key is 1/2 × 1/2.47/(1750/1000)2 = 4.72 inch-ounces of unbalance. .125 or 4.6 cubic inches.774 * (rpm/1000)2 * in-oz.

0098 ———————————————————————————————— .0049 Extremely smooth Below .0392 Very good . Vibration Severity ———————————————————————————————— Classification Velocity (in/sec.0098 Very smooth .314 Slightly rough .0785 Good .) ———————————————————————————————— Very rough Above .157 Fair .628 Rough .0196 Smooth .Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Table 4-1.

and extensive down time. Field balancing of rotating equipequipment depends on identifying the type of unbalance and then applying the correct balancing procedure. For much equipment. For a part to be successfully field balanced.Field Balancing Chapter Field Balancing INTRODUCTION U nbalance is present to some extent in all rotating equipment. elimination of possible damage due to disassembly. the rotating part must be out of balance. Another single plane balancing method that only requires amplitude will be discussed later. transportation and reassembling. due either to their high . and second. A method of dual plane balancing is discussed later in the chapter. Single plane balancing is only successful in conditions where the unbalance is pure static. The following single plane method of field balancing assumes the use of a vibration analyzer that has a strobe light to identify the phase angle. Some machines. Dual plane balancing will be required for the majority of equipment. two conditions must be met. in-place balancing has many advantages over shop balancing. Typical of the types of equipment that can be balanced by the single plane method are fin-fans and cooling tower fans. the required changes in weight must be able to be made to the rotating part. These include less cost. and has been found to be the most common source of vibration encountered. Balancing a piece of equipment with it mounted and operating in its normal position is called in-place or field balancing. Other forms of unbalance will require two or more planes of correction. First.

The amount of unbalance that exists is determined by the amplitude of vibration of the rotating part. will require precision shop balancing. SINGLE PLANE BALANCING The strobe light is configured to trigger on the vibration signal. This point corresponds to the location of the heavy spot at some time in the rotation cycle. Thus. Unbalance is defined as an unequal distribution of mass about a rotating center point. it will vibrate at a frequency equal to the rotating speed of the element and have an amplitude proportional to the unbal- . and then removing or adding the correct amount of weight at the correct location to cancel the centrifugal forces caused by the unbalance. the amplitude of the vibration and its phase location will have been altered. Unbalance is further defined by International Organization of Standards (IOS) as. amount and distance from the center of rotation are noted. The exact location of the phase reference point is of no consequence in the beginning. By adding the trial weight. and involves following only a few simple rules.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions speed or to the class of tolerable vibrations. and its location. a trial weight is attached to the rotating member. The location of the unbalance is determined with the use of a strobe light to identify a phase location with respect to any existing reference point on the rotating element. When a weight is added to a perfectly balanced rotating element. Next. “That condition which exists in a rotor when vibratory force or motion is imparted to its bearings as a result of centrifugal forces. at its peak. Balancing is the process of identifying the amount and location of a heavy spot on a rotating part.” Unbalance will result in the vibration of the rotating part and its supporting bearings and associated support members. Balancing in-place is a very straightforward process. the location of the resultant heavy spot will be altered.

When a trial weight is added to the rotor.5 mils at 60 degrees. Note that the scale chosen is 1/2 mil per division. if the 4-ounce weight had been moved 60 degrees counterclockwise. by using a protractor and a convenient scale the same results can be achieved. but any convenient scale can be used. one of three things must happen: .5 mils vibration at 60 degrees. Polar graph paper is very useful in laying out balancing problems. The angle the phase mark shifts is equal in degrees to the angle the heavy spot was shifted.Field Balancing anced weight. This makes it convenient to visualize the problem. 2. Further. As an example. 3. and its original readings are shown in Figure 5-1. A reference mark for phase will appear to stand still at some location under a strobe light triggered by the vibration. The three fundamentals of balancing are: 1. but the phase reference angle would have shifted 60 degrees clockwise to 120 degrees. and thus the associated phase angle and amplitude readings are called the original readings. The reference mark (phase angle) shifts in a direction opposite to a shift in the heavy spot. The radial lines that radiate from the center represent the angular position. However. a rotor has a vibration amplitude of 3. The amount of vibration is proportional to the amount of unbalance. but the phase angle would remain at 60 degrees. if a 4 ounce weight were added to a balanced rotor. the amplitude would have remained the same. doubling the weight to 8 ounces would increase the amplitude of the vibration to 7 mils. The unbalance in a rotating element at the start of a balancing process is referred to as the original unbalance. and the concentric circles are spaced 1/2 mil apart. and caused a 3. To further illustrate this point.

However. The mass of the trial weight need only be reduced until a satisfactory balance was achieved. while the reference mark would remain fixed. if the trial weight were smaller than the heavy spot. 2. the reference mark would shift 180 degrees. To balance the rotor. . Graphical Solution with Original Vibration Plotted 1. If so. the mass of the trial weight would be altered until the rotor was balanced. if the trial weight were heavier than the heavy spot. The trial weight could be placed in exactly the correct position.5 Mils @ 60° 0 330 30 300 60 270 90 240 120 210 180 150 1/2 Mil per Division Figure 5-1. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions 3. 180 degrees away from the heavy spot. The trial weight could be added exactly on the heavy spot. the vibration amplitude would increase. In this case. Again. the vibration amplitude would decrease. the trial weight would simply be moved 180 degrees and adjusted in mass until the rotor was balanced. but the reference mark would remain in the same location.

In this figure. Next. The angle and direction the trial weight must be moved. a trial weight of 5 ounces is added and a new set of readings is obtained. Most often. In this case.5 mils @ 60° 300 60 270 90 240 120 “0” + “T” 5. This vector represents the amount of vibration due to the trial weight alone. and the correct amount of the weight must be determined from a vector diagram. but there would be a definite change in the location of the reference mark. the trial weight is placed neither on the heavy spot.0 mils @ 120° 210 180 150 1/2 Mil per Division Figure 5-2. The length of the T vector can be measured using the same scale as selected for 0 330 30 “0” 3. Returning to our example. a vector is drawn from the head of the O vector to the head of the O + T vector. the original vector is labeled O and the run with the trial weight installed is labeled O + T. nor directly opposite it. This is shown in Figure 5-2. the new amplitude is 5 mils and the new reference angle is 120 degrees. In this case the amplitude may go up or down. Plotting the Trial Run Vector . and is labeled the T vector.Field Balancing 3. The length and direction of the T vector need to be determined to know where to properly place the balance weight.

and that a 5-ounce trial weight was added for the trial balance run. With this information. With the T vector properly drawn. we can analyze the unbalance problem. The amount to be added would be rounded off to 4 0 330 30 “0” 60 3.4 mils α = 77° 240 120 “0” + “T” 5.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions the polar graph. First. Next. the correction weight = 5 × 3.1) In this case. is measured using a protractor.4 mils of vibration. The angle α. Figure 5-3 shows the T vector correctly drawn. the angle between the O vector and the T vector is measured using a protractor.0 mils @ 120° 210 150 180 1/2 Mil per Division Figure 5-3.4 = 3.977 ounces. We can calculate the correct amount of weight to be added to the rotor with the following equation: Correction Weight = Trial Weight × O/T (5. as a result of the trial weight alone. The length of the T vector is the vibration amplitude in mils. the length of the T vector is measured to be 4.5 mils @ 60° 300 270 90 “T” = 4. Plotting and Measuring the T Vector . we know that the trial weight caused 4.5/4. the angle between the O vector and the T vector.4 mils. and found to be 79 degrees.

. and to adjust the direction of the T vector to be 180 degrees opposite of the O vector. the side b is opposite the angle β.Field Balancing ounces. In Figure 5-3. and the side c is opposite the angle γ. Again. it must be shifted by the angle between the O vector and the T vector. the weight is moved opposite the reference shift direction. the O + T vector was at 120 degrees. we will use the information obtained in our trial run. Remember. Refer to Figure 5-4. The angle is measured from the location of the trial weight and not the reference mark. This is the angle that the trial weight must be moved. Note in Figure 5-4 that the side a is opposite the angle α. REMEMBER: Remove the trial weight after adding the correction weight. while the O vector had been at 60 degrees. LAW OF SINE The solution to the balancing problem in the example above can also be solved with the trigonometric functions sine and cosine. The T vector can be thought of as a vector whose tail is always connected to the head of the O vector. so the correction weight must be added 79 degrees counterclockwise from the position of the trial weight. To accomplish this. the exact location for the correction weight must be determined. Thus to make the T vector point exactly opposite the O vector. This angle α was measured to be 79 degrees. the law of sine and the law of cos must be used. Next. The object of the balancing process is to adjust the length of the T vector to equal the length of the O vector. Thus the reference mark shifted from 60 degrees to 120 degrees in a clockwise direction. CAUTION: The correction weight is always shifted in an angle opposite in direction from the shift of the reference mark.

we know a = 5 mils and c = 3. the angle between the O + T vector and the T vector is represented by γ and the opposite side.10) In our example. We know that β = 60 degrees. but we don’t know anything about the other two angles.3) (5.6) (5. This is illustrated in Figure 5-5.2) (5. We need to know the angle α and the length b.7) LAW OF COSINE a2 = b2 + c2 – 2bc cos α b2 = a2 + c2 – 2ac cos β c2 = a2 + b2 – 2ab cos γ (5. and the opposite side is the T vector. The law of . The angle between the O vector and the T vector is represented by α and the opposite side is the O + T vector. Relationships Between Angles and Sides of a Triangle sin sin sin sin sin sin α/sin β = a/b α/sin γ = a/c β/sin α = b/a β/sin γ = b/c γ/sin α = c/a γ/sin β = c/b (5.5) (5. Also. the angle between the O vector and the O + T vector is β. the O vector.4) (5.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions LAWS OF SIN & COS β c α a b γ Figure 5-4.9) (5.8) (5. Finally.5 mils.

Solving the Balancing Triangle cos is used first to determine the length of b (T vector). Operate the rotor at the balancing speed. Substituting sin α = sin(60) (5/ 4.50000 (from trigonometric tables).974356 and α = 77 degrees (from trigonometric tables).125089 = . and cos(60) = . and with the analyzer filter tuned to 1 × rpm. Since b2 = a2 + c2 – 2ac cos β substituting yields b2 = 52 + 3.52 – 35 cos (60). REVIEW The basic steps required in the single plane balancing process: 1. However.Field Balancing LAWS OF SIN & COS O β O+T α T γ Figure 5-5.44409). . Note that the answers obtained with the mathematical solutions are more accurate than answers obtained graphically. Thus b2 = 19. note the position of the phase reference mark. and using a strobe light.75 or b = 4. Thus. Using the law of the sine the angle α is found by sin α/sin β = a/b or sin α = sin β × (a/b). sin α = .866025 (from trigonometric tables). the two answers are so close that the resultant correction weight and its location will be about the same.44409. Record the amplitude and phase angle as the original run.866025 × 1. measure the amplitude of the vibration in mils. and sin(60) = .

Measure and record the length of the T vector. Operate the rotor at balancing speed and again record the vibration amplitude and the phase angle of the reference mark. These data are the O + T run. Record the amount and location of the trial weight. Using polar graph paper. espe- . Run the rotor again and record the amplitude of vibration and the reference mark location. and record its value. Follow the steps 1 through 7 above until satisfactory results are achieved. Stop the rotor and attach a trial weight to the rotor at a diameter where the correction weight can be added or removed. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions 2. If it is too small. and one trial run will have been wasted. If the trial weight is too large. it could cause damage to the machine. Determine the amount of correction weight required by: Correction Weight = Trial Weight × O/T 3. 7. no change in phase or amplitude may be noted. TRIAL WEIGHTS AND FORCE Care should be exercised in the selection of the proper trial weight size. Connect the head of the O vector to the head of the O + T vector and label the new vector T. Be sure to remove the trial weight after securing the correction weight in place. construct both the O and the O + T vectors. this run will become the original data. This is the vibration amplitude caused by the trial weight. 6. Note: assure the T vector points from the O vector to the O + T vector. 5. Use a protractor to measure the angle between the O and the T vectors. The correction weight will need to be placed this angle away from the trial weight location. in a direction opposite to the direction the reference mark shifted. 4. If additional balancing is required.

is selecting a mass that will produce a force equal to 10% of the rotor weight on the supporting bearings. F = 1.Field Balancing cially if it normally operates above the first critical speed. There are numerous ways to add trial weights to a rotor. What trial weight is required? Step 1.11. reinforced tape.75 pounds will be sufficient to add the 10% force required for balancing. brazing. Trial weights and especially permanent correction weights can be added by soldering.11) Example 5-1 A rotor turns at 1750 rpm and weighs 175 pounds. and welding. a . Step 2. modeling clay can be used for trial weights. rearranging and substituting the supplied data. the unbalance is found to be inch-ounces = 8. a trial weight should be selected that will cause a 30% change in amplitude or a 30-degree shift in the reference mark location. As a general rule.5 pounds. and a close inspection of the exact application will reveal the most appropriate method. Using Formula 5. If the trial weight were to be added at a radius of six inches. Flat washers. a force of 8.774 × (1750/1000)2] or inch-ounces = 1. The rotor is simply supported by two bearings.75/[1.774 × (rpm/1000)2 × inch-ounces (5. lead weights.61. Changes of this magnitude will insure accurate results are obtained from your calculations. If the rotor has a recessed lip. hose clamps. Since each bearing supports 87. a weight of .25 or quarter ounce weight would be selected. Be sure to attach trial weights securely to assure they do not fly off during the subsequent trial runs. The subject of critical speed will be discussed later. and custom-made clamps have all been used as trial weights. Occasionally there will be no location for trial . Adding washers to existing assembly bolts or drilling and tapping new bolt holes may also be used. For practical purposes.268 ounces would be required. epoxy. A common practice used in selecting the size of a trial weight.

A balancing ring is simply a flat metal ring that can be bolted to the rotating assembly. LOOSE MATERIAL . if repeated attempts to balance a rotor fail in providing satisfactory results. unless it is to remain in place permanently. By following these steps and cautions. material of equal weight may be removed 180 degrees opposite the correction weight location. Cautions When balancing. a balancing ring may be installed to aid in the balancing process. Note: the balancing ring must be in perfect balance to prevent interference with the balancing process. field balancing presents few problems. grinding or cutting can be used for this purpose. Of course this will affect the balancing procedure. This debris may take a new position each time the machine is stopped and restarted. However. Drilling. load temperature and other operating conditions can alter the results. and the analysis data point to unbalance as the problem. Some of these problems that are frequently encountered are: 1. there may be other problems with the machine. ROTOR LOOSE ON ITS SHAFT .This problem is encountered on rotors that are pressed onto their shaft. OPERATING IN RESONANCE . Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions weights. and has provisions to add trial weights.If the supporting structure or an element of the machine is resonant at or near the oper- 2. In this situation. assure the rotor operates at the same speed throughout the balancing process. . the rotor may rotate slightly on the shaft during load changes due to the high torque during start up. A change in speed. hollow blades and hollow shafts.Machines such as blowers and fans may accumulate dirt or water in recesses. If a change occurs start the balancing process over. 3. If the exact correction weight is found. If the interference fit is incorrect.

4-ounce weight at 54 inches. Wt. All that is required is that the product of the radius times the weight remain the same.1 × R1 = Wt.12) and substituting the supplied data. it is usually very sensitive to very small changes in the location or amount of any trial weight.4-ounce correction weight were added to a cooling tower fan at a radius of 54 inches. what weight would be required at a radius of 18 inches? Step 1.2 = 2.2 × R2 (5. When a machine is in resonance.4 × 54/18 = 7. EQUIVALENT WEIGHTS There are times when the final correction weight must be placed at a different radius than the trial weight. First let’s examine the case of combining the weights.Field Balancing ating speed. . Thus the 7.12) Example 5-2 If a 2. Once again.2-ounce weight at 18 inches produces the same amount of unbalance as the 2.2 ounces. This is a straightforward process. Figure 5-6 shows three weights being combined into one equivalent weight. EXCESSIVE CLEARANCE IN BEARINGS . a new correction weight mass must be calculated for the new radius. There are times when several weights can be combined into one. By rearranging Equation (5.Excessive looseness or clearance in bearings will sometimes cause the system to respond similarly to that experienced when operating in resonance. or times when a single weight must be split into equivalent weights to accommodate a particular piece of equipment. Wt. balancing is usually very difficult. this task is very straightforward. When this is the case. 4. since the balance correction is a product of both the mass and the radius (inch-ounce).

5 × 0.5 ounces @ 63 degrees.0 ounces @ 160 degrees. Once again the same results could have been obtained using trigonometric functions.6407 (5. the measured length of the resultant is the equivalent weight.14) ▼ C ▼ R A C ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ . When the three vectors that represent the weights are placed tail to head. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions B ▼ A B Figure 5-6. The angle formed by the resultant is the equivalent angle where the weight is to be applied.5 ounces @ 0 degrees. Vector Addition As an illustration.5 sin(0) or Y= 11. Weight A is 11.8 ounces @ 60 degrees. assume 0 degrees is at the 3 o’clock position and that the degrees are laid off in the counterclockwise direction.5 cos(63) + 7 × cos(160) + 8.342020 + 8.5 × .5 × cos(0) or X = 11.89100 + 7 × .13) (5.93969) + 8. First. we can find all the vertical distances and add them together and then the horizontal components can be found and summed together. the equivalent weight is 14.5 × .5 sin(63) + 7 sin(160) + 8. and the resultant R drawn from the tail of the first vector to the head of the last vector. Y = A sin α + B sin β + C sin γ + … X = A cos α + B cos β + C cos γ + … Therefore: Y and X = 11. weight B is 7.000 = 7.45399 + 7 × (–.5 × 1. In this instance.14303 = 11.0 = 12. and weight C is 8.

but the answers are very close. Note that vectors must have arrow heads indicating their direction of application. Once again. but lines representing planes.585 The length c is the resultant. The following illustration is provided to show that the planes onto which the weight can be resolved do not have to be at right angles to each other. Once again the mathematical solution is more accurate than the graphical method. Note that regardless of which plane was moved. forming either the B’ or the C’ planes.15) and substituting the supplied data. To graphically resolve this problem. It is a good practice to work all problems using both methods to check your work. In this case the weight is 14. whose sin = (Y/R). it was . or the required balance weight. c = ((12. To find the angle.5 = 14. B’. either the B plane or the C plane can be moved parallel. Dividing the value of Y by R and looking in the sin table for that value yields: asin (.Field Balancing Since the values of X and Y form a right triangle: a 2 + b 2 = c2 (5. but we will use the arcsine (asin) function.15) By rearranging Equation (5. but not enough to warrant its use in most cases. asin (Y/R) simply means the angle in degrees.07 degrees. must maintain the same relative angle. These planes represent the direction the equivalent weights must act in. C and C’ are not vectors.6 ounces. Degrees = asin (Y/R) (5. and therefore.8669) = 60.14303)2).16) Here.6407)2 – (7. several methods could be employed. The lines marked B. Figure 5-7 represents a typical case of splitting the required correction weight into two equivalent weights. the mathematical method is more accurate than the graphical method.

First. Now the equivalent values for each of the two planes B and C can be found. Recalling Y = A sin α.65925 = B sin (90) + C sin (30) and 2.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions B B’ Ac ▼ Ab Figure 5-7.65925. As with the other graphical problems.58819. a mathematical solution is also possible.58819 = B cos (90) + C cos ▼ Ac’ ▼ B ▼ ▼ Ab’ C C’ A C A ▼ . To follow through with this illustration. Splitting the Correction Weight placed at the head of the A vector. zero degrees is assumed at the 3 o’clock position and the degrees are laid off in a counterclockwise direction. and X = A cos α or Y = 10 sin (75) = 9. a vector is constructed by drawing an arrow head on the appropriate plane where it is intersected by the second plane where an equivalent weight is to be placed. assume that the B plane is @ 90 degrees and the C plane is @ 30 degrees. and X= 10 cos (75) = 2. and acted at an angle of 75 degrees. Again. Starting at the tail of the A vector. substituting the data yields 9. Since Y = B sin β + C sin γ and X = B cos β + C cos γ. assume that vector A represented a 10-ounce weight. the A vector needs to be resolved into its X and Y components. and will provide a more accurate answer. Further.

There will always be two equations with two unknowns. TWO PLANE BALANCING The majority of unbalance situations are not pure static in nature. and 2. In general. or resolved into two or more corrective planes to prevent the formation of couple forces. Locating the Correction Weight in a Different Plane than the Unbalance . a solution is easily achieved. In Figure 5-8 a correction weight equal to the unbalance is added in the wrong plane. Note that although the B plane was @ 90 degrees. The result will be a couple. utilization of single plane balancing is ineffective.98858 and B = 9. Solving the trigonometric functions yields 9.5 C.65925 – (. Unbalance Center of rotation Center of the shaft Correction weight Figure 5-8. Thus by placing a 3-ounce weight at 30 degrees and an 8ounce weight at 90 degrees will produce the same result as the 10ounce weight at 75 degrees.5 × 2.98858) = 8. therefore. Now the two equations can be simultaneously solved by substituting the value of C from the first equation into the second equation. allowing a simple solution for C.866025 C. the unbalance must be either compensated for in the same plane in which it occurs.16495.Field Balancing (30). thus.65925 = B + .58819 = . This yields C = 2. the same results can be achieved regardless of the angles involved.

FORCE FORCE FORCE FORCE FORCE Figure 5-10. Note that the correction weight could also be a second source of unbalance and that it would not necessarily have to be directly opposite the unbalance nor equal in weight. However. the sum of the forces and the sum of the moments must equal zero. In Figure 5-10 it can be seen that splitting the correction weights into two equal parts and spacing them equal distances from the unbalance is an acceptable solution to an unbalance.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions FORCE FORCE Figure 5-9. A Couple Force The two forces are acting 180 degrees out of phase and in different planes. causing the shaft to wobble about its centerline. the number and location of the correction weights must always meet two basic criteria. Two Acceptable Solutions to an Unbalance . the correction must act in the same plane as the unbalance. A moment is a force times the distance from a reference point. That is. To prevent the formation of a couple force. or resolve to the same plane.

The two basic criteria must be met for the shaft to be in balance. Selecting the point of unbalance as the reference point. The second criteria states the sum of the moments must equal zero. thus the amount of added weight is correct. Since the correction weights are all placed 180 degrees opposite the unbalance. Show that the corrections made will balance the shaft. . a 2-pound weight at 8 feet and a 3-pound weight at 3 feet. and 5 × 5 = 25. The sum of the moments about the unbalance must equal zero. 2 + 3 + 5 = 10. the sum of their weights must equal the unbalance to satisfy the first criteria. Adding these moments yields – 16 – 9 + 25 = 0. 2. Step 2. Example 5-3 Step 1. and thus the second criteria is also met.Field Balancing 1. since the distance is zero. Two additional weights are added to the left of the unbalance. Example 5-3 A rotating element has a 10-pound unbalance. also 180 degrees opposite the unbalance. A 5-pound weight is placed 5 feet to the right of the unbalance. 3 × –3 = –9. the unbalance has no moment. Assuming measurements to the right of the reference are positive and measurements to the left are negative. the moments are 2 × –8 = –16. ▲ 10# 8’ ▼ 2# 3# 3’ ▼ 5’ ▼ 5# Figure 5-11. 180 degrees opposite it. The sum of the forces from the correction weight(s) and the unbalance. must equal zero.

After it has been determined that a machine element requires balancing. It is far better to determine the cross-effect and take its effects into account. Unbalance on a Shaft By observing Figure 5-12. This may be true of shafts that have multiple rotors stacked on them. Trying to correct at the second end will have the same effect on the first end and so on. and that a two plane approach is required. it can also be seen that adding correction weights to either end will set up couple forces. Vibration readings taken at the two bearing locations will differ. The end of a shaft is the best location. since it is easily observed during operation. and thus alter the vibration at the opposite end.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Referring to Figure 5-12. Although the two plane balancing method can satisfy the two basic criteria. Unbalance ▲ A ▲ B Figure 5-12. if the rotor is flexible vibration still may occur. In addition. where the unbalance may be in several planes. . the unbalance on the shaft is closer to the left end bearing. each end cannot simply be treated as a single plane problem without having to make numerous runs and corrections. This is referred to as cross-effect. shaft ends often have keyways or other distinctive features that can be identified for phase locations. Some machines may require balancing in more than two planes to eliminate the forces of unbalance. Corrections will need to be made at both bearing locations. Due to this cross-effect. the machine should be shutdown and a convenient reference mark placed so that phase angles can be recorded. Attempting to correct the unbalance at point A will not resolve the problem. A flexible rotor is considered as a rotor that operates within 70% or more of its resonant frequency or one of its harmonics.

the vibration analyzer is tuned to the operating speed and a strobe light is attached to measure the reference phase angles. Using Polar Graph Paper for Phase Reference . it is recommended that a polar graph be attached to the machine by cutting out the center and placing it over the end of the shaft. Multi-plane balancing is beyond the scope of this book and is not discussed further. This type of balancing is best left to shop balancing and not attempted in the field. To start the balancing process. Figure 5-13 shows a polar graph attached to a machine end. This will assist in determining the exact phase angles during the balancing process. Since this balancing technique requires a bit more accuracy than the single plane method. Felt-tip markers are useful in marking phase reference locations.Field Balancing These rotating elements will require balancing by a multi-plane method. An initial run is made and the amplitude and phase angles are measured and recorded for both the near end and the far end 0 330 30 300 60 270 90 240 120 210 180 150 Figure 5-13. and its shaft end marked with an arrow. The use of two pickups is recommended to avoid having to move from one end to the other for each set of measurements.

Re-start the machine and measure and record the new amplitude and phase location for the near and far ends.1 mils @ 35 degrees. The machine is shutdown and a trial weight is added to the near end. The remainder of the process of determining the amount and location of the correction weights is best explained through an example. the recorded data will be transferred to polar graph paper and additional information measured and calculated.1 mils @ 60 degrees. The location must be referenced to the near end and recorded as degrees clockwise from the reference point. (T2) Trial weight: 10 ounces @ 180 degrees First trial run: Second trial run: What are the recommended corrections? For this example.9 mils @ 120 degrees. the following conventions will be used. Example 5-4 A machine had the following data recorded: What are the recommended corrections? Original readings: (N0) Near end: 7. (F1) Far end: 3.4 mils @ 215 degrees. Stop the machine and remove the trial weight.6 mils @ 160 degrees. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions of the machine. (F0) Far end: 5. (T1) Trial weight: 8 ounces @ 270 degrees (N2) Near end: 5. Like the single plane method. (N1) Near end: 4. Place a trial weight at the far end. The convention N0 > N1 will represent a vector whose length is from N0 to N1 and the > sign denotes the direction in . Record the weight and the angle from the reference mark to the location of the trial weight. (F2) Far end: 8. 1. Re-start the machine and again measure and record the nearand far-end amplitudes and phase angles.7 mils @ 230 degrees. recording the weight and location.

Example 5-4 Plotted Data . In this example. their magnitude and direction. Since vectors have two basic components. Step 1. Figure 5-14 illustrates the plotted data. the convention for a vector named A—calculated from two other vector quantities. In this case. the vector is drawn from the tip of the N0 vector to the tip of the N1 vector. In this case the desired length is the length of X divided by Y and the desired angle is X plus Y. X and Y—will be A = (X/Y) units @ (X + Y) degrees.Field Balancing which it acts. Plot the six readings on polar graph paper. 0 330 30 300 60 270 90 240 120 210 180 150 Figure 5-14. What is important is that the symbol for a vector will represent its length and the underlined symbol will represent the angle of that vector. each circle represents 1 mil.

measuring the length and angles of these vectors yields: N0 > N2: F0 > F2: F0 > F1: 3. F0 > F1 and the N0 > N2 vectors. Determine the length and direction of the vector from N0 > N1.6 mils. . the measured length of the vector from N0 > N1 is 7. Drawing a line parallel to the N0 > N1 vector so that is passes through the center of the polar graph allows the angle to be measured. The next step involves determining the length and direction of the F0 > F2. The length of the N0 > N1 vector could have been calculated by breaking the N0 and N1 vectors into their X and Y components. 2. Step 3. Example 5-4 Finding the Vector N0 to N1 Note the symbol > is used to denote the direction of the vector.3 mils @ 281 degrees. 7. The angle is found to be 198 degrees. 60 90 120 Figure 5-15. Again.1 mils @ 7 degrees. and using the relation r2 = x2 + y2. taking their difference. Using the proper scale.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Step 2. These can be plotted on the graph and measured in the same manner as the N0 > N1 vector.1 mils @ 121 degrees. The angle can be found using the law of sines.

4 cos(215) = –3. the angle needs to be determined. From Figure 5-17. the values for the F0 > F2 vector are calculated below. In determining the angle. X.Field Balancing 60 90 120 210 150 180 Figure 5-16. Using the law of sines.0386 Y = 8.6579 r2 = (6. First. Referring to Figure 5-17. It follows that the angle b expressed in degrees equals arcsin(X/r). sin b = X/r sin c.26 degrees.1 Now that the length is known. it is noted the angle e is equal to 180 – b or about 121 degrees. The angle b is found to be 58. Example 5-4 Vector Construction To further illustrate how these results can be achieved mathematically. it is always useful to sketch the three vectors to determine an approximate angle to assure the results are correct. the original vectors F0 and F2 are broken into their X and Y values: X = 8.4 sin(215) = 6. Y and r are known and it is further known that the angle c is a right angle.6 cos(160) – 5. .6 sin(160) – 5.0386) 2 + (–3.6579)2 or r = 7. sin b = X/r. or since c is 90 degrees.

= (Bb/B) mils @ (Bb – B) degrees = (3.1) @ (281 – 121) degrees.1 7. = (N0 × a) mils @ (N0 + a) degrees = (7. = . First.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions 0 90 e b b Y c X Figure 5-17.1/6.3/7.1 × . 7 degrees.3) @ (7 – 198) degrees. The following calculations are now performed: a a b b Na Na = (Aa/A) mils @ (Aa – A) degrees = (2.3 mils mils mils mils @ @ @ @ 198 degrees. Determining the Vector Angle r a ▲ Example (5. 281 degrees.3 2.1 mils @ 231 degrees. . the measured values will be assigned new names.5 mils @ 160 degrees. Calculate the following additional vectors from the measured values.3) mils @ (60 + 171) degrees.3 mils @ 171 degrees. 121 degrees.1 3. A = N0 > N1 Aa = F0 > F1 B = F0 > F2 Bb = N0 > N2 = = = = 6. = . = 2.4) (Cont’d) Step 4.

0 330 30 300 60 270 90 240 120 210 180 150 Figure 5-18. some vectors will need to be constructed. Na.7 mils @ 15 degrees. Now the vectors C = N0 > Fb and D = F0 > Na can be plotted and measured for their length and associated angles. At times. N0. so the result had 360 subtracted from it. = 2. Example (5. Starting with a new polar graph.4) Data Plot . This is corrected by adding 360. The final answer would be –45 + 360 = 215 degrees. 372 – 360 = 12. the results can provide a negative degree.5 × 5. F0. Once again.Field Balancing Fb Fb = (b × F0) mils @ (b + F0) degrees = (. Step 5. Assume a reading of –45 degrees was obtained. construct the following vectors: Fb.4) mils @ (160 + 215) degrees. Note: The sum of the degrees for Fb was greater than 360.

6 mils @ 258 degrees. Step 7. ab = (a × b) units @ (a + b) degrees = (. This will become clear further into this example.4) Determining the C and D Vectors Measuring the length and angles of these vectors yields: C = 5. Example (5. The next step is to use a new polar graph and plot a unity vector UV. This new plot should use a different scale from the other plots. Again additional values need to be calculated.2 units @ 331 degrees. Note: The ab vector is expressed in units not in mils. The unity vector will be one unit in length at zero (0) degrees. For this .5) units @ (171 + 160) ab = . allowing the unity vector to be as large as practical. D = 3.2 mils @ 24 degrees.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions 0 330 30 300 60 270 90 240 120 210 180 150 Figure 5-19.3 × . Step 6.

construct the vector E = ab > UV and measure its length and angle. Now the final calculations may be performed. Figure 5-20 illustrates the plot of the unity vector at a scale of 10 to 1. Example (5. the next step is to plot the ab vector on this new plot using the same scale as used to plot the unit vector. Ac = 6. Next. Step 8.7/. E = .4 units @ 253 degrees . 0 330 30 300 60 270 90 240 120 210 180 150 Figure 5-20.9 units @ 5 degrees.9) units @ (261 – 5) degrees.Field Balancing example.4) Plotting the Unit Vector With the unit vector plotted. the unity vector will be constructed at a scale of 10 to 1. Ac = (C/E) units @ (C – E) degrees = (5. that is 10 divisions on the polar plot will equal 1 unit.

4/6.121) degrees.258) degrees = 5 ounces @ 282 degrees. = .5 units b@ 258 degrees = (T1 × c) ounces @ (T1 – c) degrees = (8 × 1) ounces @ (270 . .7/7.9) units @ (36 5) = 3.5) ounces @ (180 .3) units @ (253 .Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions 0 330 30 300 60 270 90 240 120 210 180 150 Figure 5-21.4/.198) degrees = 1 units @ 56 degrees = (Bd/B) units @ (Bd – B) degrees = (3.4) Plotting the E Vector Bd Bd c c d d CWN CWN CWF CWF = (D/E) units @ (D – E) degrees = (4.56) = 8 ounces @ 214 degrees = (T2 × d) ounces @ (T2 – d) degrees = (10 × .7 units @ 19 degrees = (Ac/A) units @ (Ac – A) degrees = (6.1) units @ (19 . Example (5.

rotors with a W/D ratio of .000 RMP the two plane method should be used. In this case.34 pounds of force. W/D Ratio for Rotors . By calculating using least significant digits to 1/1000th. Assuming the machine in example (5. Rotors with a W/D ratio above . Above 1.5 or less may be balanced using the single plane method if they operate at less than 1.2 ounces @ 282 degrees. W ▲ ▲ ▲ D ▼ Figure 5-22. the solution would be: CWN CWF = 8. the least significant digits were set as 1/10th.2 ounces @ 214 degrees.750 rpm and the trial weights were placed at a radius of 16 inches from the center.000 rpm. this may be significant. the difference would cause an unbalanced force of: F = 1. Depending on the weight of the rotor and the type of machine.5 that operate below 150 rpm may use the single plane method of balancing.77 × (1750/1000)2 × . Those above 150 rpm should use the two plane method.Field Balancing Note in the above calculations. the answers are slightly altered.2 × 16 or 17. WHICH METHOD As a general guide.4) operated at 1. = 5.

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions OVERHUNG ROTORS Overhung rotors are often found in fans or blowers that have a W/D ratio of less than . This second trial weight is used to preserve the static balance in plane a. be sure to remove the trial weight from the a plane.5. If the vibration levels are unacceptable. an equal but opposite weight is added in the a plane. Once the corrections have been made. Placement of the second trial weight in the a plane. That is. and most often operate at speeds of less than 1. to establish a couple force.000 rpm. must be exactly 180 degrees opposite the trial weight placed in the b plane and produce the same unbalance. corrections must be made in plane b using the vibration data from bearing 2. Now the single plane method is performed for the b plane using the data from bearing 2. An Overhung Rotor Referring to Figure 5-23. The single plane method of balancing can often be employed to correct unbalance conditions for this type of rotor. and then recheck . a 2 ▲ 1 ▲ • b • Figure 5-23. or of different weight but placed at a radius that creates the same inch-ounces of unbalance. the vibration readings are taken at bearing 1 and the corrections are made in plane a. it is of the same weight and placed at the same radius. Once the correction is made. Adding a trial weight in the b plane will upset the balancing effort done in the a plane. To compensate for this. the vibration is measured at bearing 2.

etc. missing key material. Assure the major component of the vibration is occurring at 1 × rpm. loose impellers. Usually. Many large cooling tower fans and fin-fan coolers have hollow blades. Observe the machine for obvious causes of unbalance. Another source on vibration that may appear to be unbalance is aerodynamic force generated as blades pass over support members. These steps are repeated as often as required to achieve an acceptable balance of the rotor. assure they are all of the same length and are set to the same pitch. .Field Balancing its balance using data from bearing 1. blowers and compressors. check for buildup of debris which can cause unbalance and clean first. excessive key material. such as broken or missing cooling vanes on electric motors. Internal corrosion and scale can also be a source of unbalance. the tip of the blade has a small hole drilled to its center to allow any trapped moisture to escape. Scale and rust buildup can also alter the balance of this type machine. Assure these holes are open and free to flow any moisture from the blade. different length bolts. On fans with adjustable blades. assure the machine is truly suffering from unbalance prior to attempting corrections to balance. On fans. NOTES ON BALANCING First and foremost.

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A circle with a radius equal to the measured amplitude is then drawn. the amplitude of the vibration at 1 × rpm is measured and recorded. i.e. The main disadvantage of this method is that it requires starting and stopping the fan several times. it does work very well on these relatively slow-speed rotating elements. The vibration pickup was attached to the gear box and will remain attached at the same point throughout the balancing process.A Single Plane Balancing Technique Chapter A Single Plane Balancing Technique INTRODUCTION T here is a simple balancing technique that is very useful in balancing cooling tower fans and fin fan coolers. GRAPHICAL SOLUTION First. As an example. However. 5 mils equals 1/4 inch.. The basic advantage of this method is that it does not require a vibration analyzer that has a strobe light. . or other methods of measuring phase angle. This is the four-circle method and will be discussed in some detail. a cooling tower fan has three blades and operates at 330 rpm. This method requires only amplitude measurements. An initial vibration was taken and the amplitude of vibration in the radial direction was recorded as 46 mils at 330 cpm. Note that any convenient scale can be used for laying out the graphics.

2 divisions. allow 4 times the original amplitude to be the minimum layout. Using a scale of 5 mils per division. and the blades chained so that they can be numbered in a counterclockwise direction. as shown in Figure 6-1. Since the selected graph paper has 100 divisions.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions The first step is to lay out a circle whose radius is equal to the amplitude of the original vibration.8 divisions which will fit on the selected graph paper. the circle would have a radius of 46/ 5 or 9. Thus. The number of blades on the fan will determine the angle between blades. Remember.2 divisions was laid out to represent the original vibration amplitude. locked out. the required minimum would be (46/5)*4 or 36. the fan is stopped. SCALE: 5 mils per division Figure 6-1. Next. a scale of 5 to 1 was chosen. That is. As a minimum. The location of the fan blades is then laid out on the graph. Note: a scale of 2 to 1 could be used in this example. Any blade can be designated as blade #1. Laying Out the Original Vibration Amplitude . a minimum of 4 × 46 or 184 divisions should be available. any convenient scale can be used. if the original amplitude was 46 mils. but be sure to allow for the additional circles which will be drawn with their centers located around the original circle’s circumference. A circle with a radius of 9. The angle between blades is simply 360/number of blades.

and label it blade #1.1) . the new amplitude was 31 mils peak-to-peak.A Single Plane Balancing Technique SCALE: 5 mils per division Figure 6-2. The amplitude of this vibration is drawn as a circle with a radius equal to the amplitude with its center at the point where the blade #1 line intersects the circumference of the original circle. The angle between blades is measured from the blade #1 line to determine the location of blade #2. A suitably sized trial weight is selected and secured to blade #1. draw a line from the original circle’s center to its circumference. The same process is used to locate blade #3. Note that only the first three blades need be located. The angle between blades is calculated by: e = 360/Nb Where: Nb is the total number of blades on the fan. The fan is operated and the amplitude of the vibration at operating speed is recorded. Locating the Blades on the Graph At 3 o’clock. The fan is stopped and the trial weight is removed from blade #1 and placed on blade #2 at the same distance from the (6. In this example.

Again. the fan is operated and the amplitude is recorded. the T vector can be drawn. However. only the portion of the circle that intercepts the Trial Run #1 circle is required. or due to errors in construction of the graph. The T vector is drawn from the original circle’s center to the point where all three trial run circles intersect each other. This amplitude is again drawn as a circle with its radius equal to the amplitude and its center where the blade #2 line intersects the original circle’s circumference. It should be noted that all three circles may not intersect each other at exactly the same point. Once the basic graph has been laid out. the . Adding Trial #1 Vibration to the Graph center as used on blade #1. and the third trial-run circle is constructed. In this example 49 mils peak-to-peak was recorded. In this example Trial Run #3 had a peak-to-peak amplitude of 71 mils. The same process is repeated for blade three.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions SCALE: 5 mils per division Figure 6-3. The graph should now consist of the original amplitude circle. due to the error in amplitude measurements. and three additional circles representing the amplitude of the three trial runs. three lines representing the first three blade locations. Note that although part of the circles representing Trial Runs #2 and #3 did not fit on the graph.

Estimate the point where they should have met and calculate the T vector. Adding Trial Run #3 to the Graph point can easily be estimated. Adding Trial Run #2 to the Graph SCALE: 5 mils per division Figure 6-5. Figure 6-6 depicts the correctly drawn T vector. .A Single Plane Balancing Technique SCALE: 5 mils per division Figure 6-4. Due to scale factors and the thickness of the pencil. often the three circles don’t all meet at the exact same point.

The T vector is drawn from the center of the original amplitude circle to this point. line A-A. The length of the T vector is now mea- . draw a line from the center of circle 1 to the centers of circles 2 and 3. Points A. This point is the exact location of the head of the T vector. B and C represent the intersection of circles 1 and 2. line B-B. In the case where the circles fail to overlap. To determine the exact location of the head of the T vector. These three lines will intersect at a common point.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Figure 6-6. Divide each of these lines in half and draw a line from that point to the center of the circle opposite that line. and circles 3 and 1 respectively. Drawing the T Vector Figure 6-7 shows how to estimate the point where the three trial-run circles should have intersected each other. and line C-C. three lines are drawn connecting the three circles’ intersecting points. circles 2 and 3. Where these three lines intersect is the location of the T vector head. Next draw a line from the center of circle 2 to the center of circle 3.

2). Correction Weight = Trial Weight × O/T (6. two balancing runs should provide good results. Locating the Intersection Point of Three Circles sured.2) The angle formed by the T vector is the location of the correction weight. This process can be repeated as often as required until acceptable results are obtained. Estimating the Intersection Point Figure 6-8. The correction weight required is determined by Equation (6. As with all maintenance practices.A Single Plane Balancing Technique Figure 6-7. . Generally. careful attention to small details will result in big dividends.

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Misalignment of Machine Shafts Chapter Misalignment of of Machine Shafts Shafts INTRODUCTION V ibration due to misalignment is almost as common as vibration due to unbalance. that is misaligned bearings. Sleeve bearings must have an accompanying unbalance to exhibit classical misalignment vibration characteristics. Again. These vibration characteristics are due to the bearings’ VIBRATION Figure 7-1. It takes a precise method of alignment to assure these parts are aligned so that no forces are generated due to their misalignment. In the case of an anti-friction bearing being misaligned with its shaft. the vibration will exist in both the radial and axial directions. the shaft will have both radial and axial vibrations. Proper installation of the bearing will eliminate this vibration. Figure 7-1 illustrates an anti-friction bearing misaligned to the shaft. Anti-Friction Bearing with Misalignment . if an unbalance exists. or external such as two pieces of equipment that are coupled together. The misalignment can be internal.

or both.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions reaction to the unbalance. Sleeve Bearing with Misalignment TYPES OF MISALIGNMENT Misalignment in couplings can manifest itself in three basic ways. the two shafts can be offset vertically. Misalignment will almost always be in both the vertical and the horizontal planes. the horizontal plane. In this type of alignment. The second type is angular misalignment. misalignment in couplings will not occur as either a pure parallel offset or as a pure angular misalignment. Figure 7-2 depicts misalignment of a sleeve-type bearing to its shaft. and is depicted in Figure 7-4. or a combination of both. VIBRATION Figure 7-2. This often requires discarding the dowels. and the equipment is doweled to the base plate. The first is parallel offset as shown in Figure 7-3. but it is always wise to check for proper alignment. This is the third type of misalignment and is shown in Figure 7-5. . Many manufacturers dowel the equipment in this fashion. but rather as a combination of both. horizontally. The amplitude of both the radial and axial vibrations will be reduced when the rotor is balanced. This type of misalignment is often found in small equipment that has a common base plate. the angularity again can be in the vertical plane. In this type of misalignment. The real source of these characteristics is thus the unbalance. In most cases.

.Misalignment of Machine Shafts Figure 7-3. Coupling with Angular Misalignment Figure 7-5. Coupling with Most Common Form of Misalignment. Coupling with Parallel Offset Misalignment Figure 7-4.

and the other in the axial direction. and sheaves. it is easily detected when alignment attempts fail to reduce the vibration amplitude. these belts come as a set and thus their replacement cost is normally high. As with unbalance. V-belts. the vibration is at 1 × rpm. if only a single belt were replaced and another belt in the set were to fail in a few hours of operation. The key to detection of misalignment or a bent shaft is the high axial vibration. Misalignment in V-belt drives that employ multiple belts can create a host of other problems as well. Therefore. the more misalignment. This can obviously lead to premature belt failures. Misalignment results in two primary forces. since the individual belts are matched to each other at the manufacturer. sprockets. In general. these costs would far offset the price of the set of belts. Generally. the amplitude of the vibration will increase as the problem is worsens. the frequency . the more vibration. so some may slip and others may be overloaded. MISALIGNMENT IN BELT DRIVES Misalignment of sheaves sprockets and V-belt drives also produces these vibration characteristics. However. Multi-belt systems should always be replaced as a set.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions A bent shaft exhibits vibration characteristics very much like those of misalignment. In addition. replacing the entire set is usually nil. This is true even with flexible couplings where the misalignment is within the tolerances of the coupling. Using a strobe light. second order (2 × rpm) and even third order (3 × rpm) vibrations can occur. the cost of down time and labor to change a single belt vs. However. one in the radial direction. One method of detection. Misalignment will alter the tension of the different belts. but when the misalignment is severe. is to draw a chalk mark across the set of belts when the unit is off. This type of misalignment results in severe wear to chains.

Too often. and the different speeds of the belts can be seen. show exaggerated misalignment in V-belt drives. If they have departed from each other. However. Offset Misalignment in Belt Drives . operate the unit for a very short time (bump the motor) and inspect the location of the marks on the belts. it is thought that belt drives are self-aligning and thus little to no attention is paid to their alignment. check for possible misalignment. Figures 7-6 and 7-7. Angular Misalignment in Belt Drives. it can be seen from the figures that misalignment can result in vibration characteristics similar to misalignment in shafts. Figure 7-7. As an alternate method.Misalignment of Machine Shafts is adjusted to the rpm of the belts. The amount of misalignment shown in Figure 7-6 would result in the drive belts being thrown off the pulleys. This is simply Figure 7-6.

Aligning these pulleys with a straightedge causes the sheave centers to be offset. the belt(s) should be suspect. To determine if the cause of vibration is related to the belt itself. since several belts could have defects at different locations. hard spots.14159 × Pulley Diameter/Belt Length (7. Regardless. Although belts that are too loose may not be . and others. Figure 7-8.1) If the vibrations are at belt rpm or a multiple of belt rpm. lumps on the belt.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions not the case. when the axial vibration exceeds 1/2 the highest vertical or horizontal vibration. uneven widths. misalignment or a bent shaft should be suspected. soft spots. Be sure to measure the thickness of any pulleys that will be aligned using this method. Belt defects can be in the form of missing material. the rpm of the belt needs to be determined. Errors in Using Straightedge to Align Pulleys Regardless how V-belt and chain drives are aligned. these will show up at belt rpm. cracks. the amount of axial vibration is a sure sign of the preciseness of the alignment. The following formula determines the belt rpm. Belt tension is very important in assuring the long life of the belts and equipment. rpm = 3. Multi-belt applications may exhibit frequencies that do not coincide with belt rpm. Figure 7-8 shows why using a straightedge to align pulleys or sheaves can lead to errors. This type of misalignment will manifest itself into the same failures of bearings as shaft misalignment. It is far better to use the pulleys’ center-lines as a reference. Note that the two pulleys have a different face thickness. In general.

The direction of the vibration pickup must not be changed from reading to reading. The types of readings taken (displacement. the 12. It is best to check the alignment with the equipment at operating temperature to assure the problem is not due to thermal growth. Typically. The end of the shaft can be viewed as a clock face so that the phase mark can be referenced to the points of the clock. For the initial test. PHASE ANGLE RELATIONS Although phase analysis is useful in determining whether a bent shaft or misalignment is the source of the vibration. four readings around the bearing should be taken. Belt tension directly affects the natural frequency of the belts. Belts that are either too tight or too loose can go into resonance. Since the objective is to determine a bent shaft from misalignment. To do so will change the phase angle. 6. The first step in using phase angles as a diagnostic tool is to locate a reference point on the shaft or coupling that is easily visible throughout the entire 360 degrees of rotation. Changes in the direction in which readings are taken will cause a phase shift. acceleration) cannot be changed when taking phase readings. the keyway in the shaft serves this purpose well. there are other problems as well. it is not foolproof. A vibration analyzer with a strobe light attachment is required to take these readings. The easiest solution is to check the alignment with dial indicators. Precise methods are discussed in following chapters. Often. the strobe light should be set to trigger on the vibration. This in turn will cause a vibration which can be harmful to the bearings and seals. velocity. A reading at 3:00 o’clock would be 90 degrees from the top. but the filter should be used to assure the vibration source is a 1 × rpm. a reading of 7:00 .Misalignment of Machine Shafts able to transmit all the required power. and 9 o’clock positions should be used. The filter should not be re-tuned during the other phase readings. 3.

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions

would be 210 degrees from the top, etc. Figure 7-9 illustrates the imaginary clock face around a bearing. It is not important as to where the original phase mark appears, but rather the change in position as readings are taken at various locations. When this test is being performed for analysis of potential misalignment, the basic clock hours are close enough. However, when balancing, a polar graph paper taped to the machine may be useful in increasing the accuracy of your measurements. In Figure 7-10, the four points to measure phase angle on a bearing are located. Starting at point A, locate the keyway or other mark on the shaft and note its phase angle. Repeat for the remaining three points. If the phase mark remains relatively unchanged, the bearing is moving in phase—that is, the entire bearing is moving in and out at the same time.
12 11 1

10

2

9

3

8

4

7 6

5

Figure 7-9. Using a Clock Face for Reference

Misalignment of Machine Shafts A D + C Figure 7-10. Locating Four Reference Points B

The next step is to measure the bearing across the coupling. Often, this will require the pickup to be placed in the opposite direction. If the pickup is reversed, the new phase readings must be adjusted by 180 degrees. In Figure 7-11, the direction of the vibration pickup for each bearing location is shown. Assuming the initial readings were taken at point B (to use the keyway as a reference point), readings taken at points A and C would need to be corrected by 180 degrees.

B C

A➔

Figure 7-11. Direction of Vibration Pickup at Each Bearing

In general, if the readings taken at points A and B are close to being the same phase angle and the readings of points C and D are close to each other; and the points B and C are 180 degrees out of phase, the problem is usually between the two bearings. This could be a coupling problem or a strong, but not conclusive, indication of misalignment. It is always best to check the alignment and inspect the coupling at this point. Refer to the chapters on alignment for inspections to be made on the coupling.

D

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions

NOTE ON ELECTRIC MOTORS
In general, the electric motor is considered as the movable machine when performing alignment of equipment trains. Often this is due to constraints caused by piping or other connections to the driven equipment. Usually this creates little or no problem, since the electrical connections to the motor are most often terminated with a short piece of flex conduit. However, some potential problems can occur when aligning the motor to a stationary piece of equipment. In some cases, the motor may be aligned in such a manner that its magnetic center and its gravitational center do not coincide. This internal misalignment of centers can cause the motor’s rotor to pulse as it operates. This is due to its hunting for the magnetic center while being pulled to its normal center of gravity.

Motor Rotor Operating In Its Magnetic Center

Figure 7-12. Rotor Operating in its Magnetic Center

The motor rotor can be pulled from its magnetic center by the equipment it is coupled to. That is, the driven equipment may produce a force across the coupling that attempts to either push or pull the motor rotor from its magnetic center. In either case, the magnetic field will try to force the rotor back to its magnetic center, while the other force tries to force it away from the magnetic center. This force imbalance often results in the motor rotor surging back and forth, pounding the thrust bearing of the driven equipment. This problem is easily identified, and easily cured. The motor should be stopped and disconnected from the coupling of the driven equipment. The motor is started and allowed to reach full

Misalignment of Machine Shafts
Force from Driven Equipment

Magnetic Force

Motor Rotor Operating Out of Its Magnetic Center

Figure 7-13. Rotor Operating ofits Magnetic Center f

speed. Using a piece of chalk or a felt-tip marker, mark the shaft where it protrudes from the bearing housing. Shut off the motor and observe it as it coasts to a stop. Note the movement (if any) of the mark on the shaft. If the mark moves either in or out, the magnetic center and the gravitational center are not the same. The bearings or the assembly of the motor should be inspected. Unless specifically designed for operation other than level, the motor should be placed in service in a nearly level position. If it is far off of level, the motor should be leveled and corrections made to the position of the driven equipment so that proper alignment can be achieved without moving the motor from a near-level position. Care should be exercised to assure that the re-assembly of the coupling between the motor and the driven equipment leaves the motor shaft in its magnetic center position. Couplings with float should be assembled so that the motor shaft has its mark in the center of the movement. After the equipment is properly assembled and aligned, restart the equipment an observe the position of the motor’s marked shaft.

SUMMARY
In general, the best indicator of misalignment is the high axial vibration. As a guide, anytime the axial vibration is at least 70% of the radial vibration (either horizontal or vertical), misalign-

Thermal growth considerations are also presented. In addition. If phase readings taken on both outboard bearings of a machine indicate that the bearing housings are vibrating in phase with one another. . If a phase shift is noted between the two bearings of the same machine. a bent shaft should be suspect. the source of the axial vibration is somewhere in between. several supplementary considerations for alignment are discussed. alignment of equipment with drive shafts and alignment of U-joint types of couplings. and a notable phase shift is seen when taking readings across the coupling. The coupling or misalignment is obviously suspect. and the same is true for the second machine. In following chapters. several precise methods for alignment of machine shafts are presented.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions ment should be suspected. These include alignment of equipment trains. Phase analysis is useful in the final determination of the exact cause of the high axial vibration.

Thermal growth and other machine considerations will be discussed in detail. In the following chapter. The first method of alignment that will be presented is an advanced version of the commonly known Rim and Face method. but will be discussed during the alignment presentations.Advanced Machine Alignment Chapter Advanced Machine Alignment INTRODUCTION P recision alignment of equipment shafts to one another is critical in extending the useful life of various machine components. The very word tolerance indicates a willingness to accept or tolerate some misalignment.so many mils angularity. Usually this is in the form of +/. . methods will be detailed to attempt to align equipment to exactly zero tolerance. the reverse indicator method of precision alignment will be discussed in detail. The two most common sources of machine vibration are misalignment and unbalance. many sources of machine unbalance can be detected and corrected. a complete understanding of precision alignment and an understanding of the sources of machine unbalance are critical skills to the plant repairman. Often these two sources will account for over 90% of all machine problems occurring in any given plant. In this text. Often equipment manufacturers provide tolerances for alignment of their equipment. and in preventing catastrophic failures. The topic of unbalance has been covered. Thus. Both graphical and analytical solutions to the alignment process will be presented.so many mils parallel offset and +/. During the alignment process.

should have their piping taken loose to assure it is not in a strain. the misalignment can be in the horizontal plane.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions In addition. In general. This selection is often influenced by such things as connected piping or fan blades. several important checks must be performed to assure a proper alignment. especially those with a maintenance history of bearing or seal problems. Aerodynamic forces resulting from improper centering can lead to excessive vibrations and premature component failure. and for checking and correcting running alignment will be discussed. Regardless of the method of alignment to be employed. such as piping. If it requires excessive force to re-connect. Once the stationary piece of equipment has been identified. pumps and compressors. or both planes. In addition. all blades should be inspected for buildup of . Here is another example for the need to keep and maintain informative maintenance records. it is important to examine the equipment to determine which machine will remain stationary. since it generally has less constraints attached. This will assure the equipment is precisely aligned once it has stabilized at operating temperatures. or a combination of both. the driver is usually the adjustable piece of equipment. it will become obvious that other information about the alignment will be beneficial in future alignment attempts. and which machine(s) will be moved. most situations will be a combination of all the above. Generally. First. angular. centered in a shroud. Later. In addition. the solution is relatively simple. which must remain. piping modifications should be considered. Once the piping has been inspected. However. Fans should be inspected to assure they are centered within their shrouds. the vertical plane. when the problem is attacked one step at a time. OVERVIEW Misalignment of two machine shafts can be parallel offset. methods for compensating for thermal growth. there will be no need to recheck its alignment unless some system changes are made.

and to assure they are all set to the same and correct pitch. Allow the motor to coast to a stop undisturbed. but should be considered for all rotating machinery. the stationary machine should be checked to assure it is near level. This manifests itself in high axial vibrations. and should allow for a minimum of shims being required to bring the two pieces of equipment into alignment. and oil. This surging results from the gravitational center of the rotor being different than the magnetic center. the stationary equipment must be re-leveled. Inspect the mark. The rotor continually hunts for the position it wants to run in. Use chalk or a felt marker and draw a line where the motor’s shaft exits the bearing housing. being out of level can result in the rotor surging along its axis. ELECTRIC MOTORS In the case of electric motors. the resulting pounding must be absorbed in the coupling or the thrust bearing of the driven equipment. the feet or hold-down bolt pads of the equipment must be clean and free from rust. The phase and frequency of these vibrations may or may not prove to be synchronous.Advanced Machine Alignment foreign material. it is wise to remove all old shims and inspect . and briefly run the motor. Disconnect and secure the coupling. Since some electric motors do not have thrust bearings. SHIMS To assure a precision alignment. It should be in the same location as when the motor was running. If it has moved either in or out. Next. This condition is not difficult to determine. dirt. This is more critical in certain types of equipment. there may be a problem with the gravitational center. This will assure that the adjustable piece of equipment starts out on a level plane. In addition. In the case where the motor was moved to align it with the stationary equipment.

It is therefore recommended that no more than three shims are placed under any machine foot. Regardless of the type of shim material to be used. the machine feet have been cleaned and inspected. All cut or stamped out shims should be carefully inspected for burrs that can distort their thickness. The use of a torque wrench is highly recommended to assure not only the proper preload. Checking for soft feet is a relatively simple task. this is undesirable and must be discarded. SOFT FEET The first step is to assure the stationary machine is sitting squarely on its foundation or base plate. equipment has been aligned using any material available. Obviously. Use either a feeler gauge or a properly mounted dial indicator to check the amount of movement or the . Once the shims have been cleaned (or replaced) and the machine feet and base plate have been cleaned. such as soft drink cans.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions them. A condition known as soft feet can cause internal misalignment of the machine and lead to premature failures. This will result in different indicator readings and create many problems in the alignment process. This may require machining a plate of a given thickness for each foot. and the proper shim material used. tin cans. Often. galvanized sheet metal. and that any subsequent re-tightening will place the same amount of crush on the shims. all shims must be miked to verify their thickness. and other scrap metal. but the dividends will be proper alignment and greatly extended equipment life. Once the shims have been removed. The use of brass or some of the newer plastic shims is highly recommended. and is supported equally on all feet. and all hold-down bolts are properly torqued. but to assure all bolts are tightened the same. loosen one hold down bolt at a time. One final caution about shims: The use of excessive numbers of shims can cause uneven crush each time the machine holddown bolts are tightened. re-torque the hold down bolts on the stationary machine to the proper tension.

so that all are the same. and record the movement or gap for each foot. . . moving the machine in the vertical plane would most likely disrupt the horizontal alignment. but also will provide a constant crush on the shims. the work on the stationary machine is completed.Advanced Machine Alignment gap under the foot. If the horizontal alignment were corrected first. See the appendix section for additional details. Using a Feeler Gauge to Measure for Soft Feet TORQUING It is imperative that hold-down bolts be torqued each time they are tightened. This procedure should now be performed on the adjustable machine. This will allow the machine to be moved horizontally without disturbing the vertical alignment.005” Figure 8-1. This not only assures the bolts are not too loose or too tight. it is highly recommended that the vertical alignment be corrected first. except for some checks for potential sources of unbalance. Re-torque the hold-down bolt and move to the next one. Regardless of the alignment method to be employed. add the proper amount of shims under the feet with the excessive movement. All feet should exhibit about the same movement or gap. Once this has been completed. Draw a simple sketch of the machine. Uneven tightening or tightening to different clamping forces can cause false readings during an alignment process. If the difference is more than 2 mils.

it would fail prior to reach- .635 ———————————————————————————————— Table 8-1 reflects the danger of selecting the wrong grade fastener for an application. As an example. and torqued as if it were a grade 5 fastener.176 – 28. 5 and 8 bolts. Properties of Various Grade Fasteners ———————————————————————————————— GRADE CLAMP FORCE TORQUE (lbs.090 – 1.9646 square inches.719 300 . Table 8-1.535 672 – 1.768 – 104. If a grade 2 fastener were used. industrial fasteners used as hold-down bolts. a 1-1/4 inch bolt with 7 threads per inch has a tensile stress area of .008 8 69. Grade 5 has three lines and grade 8 has six lines. In general.652 1. grade 2 bolts are seldom used in industrial applications. Table 8-1 reflects the various properties for grade 2. It is very important that the fastener is properly identified and that it is properly torqued to the specifications for that particular bolt.) (Ft.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Each grade of fastener has specific limits based on the strength of the material it is manufactured from. Determining Bolt Grade Due to their poor characteristics. GRADE 2 GRADE 5 GRADE 8 Figure 8-2. will normally be either grade 5 or grade 8.-lbs.023 – 64.450 5 43.) ———————————————————————————————— 2 19. Grades 2 and below have no markings. These fasteners are identified by the number of radial lines present on their heads.

Often. zinc-plated fasteners can be found in industrial applications. A very small amount of oil on the threads will reduce the friction significantly—enough to reduce the recommended torque by about 15% to 25%. This plating will reduce the amount of required torque by 15%. fastener manufacturers state the recommended torque value for clean.000 5 Medium . Some of the newer Teflon. Most often. Reduced Cross-sectional Area Due to Over Torquing . it would produce a clamping force of only 67% of the minimum clamping force of the grade 5 fastener. the bolt has a permanent offset or stretch and has a reduced cross-sectional area. If the grade 2 fastener were torqued to its maximum. which stresses the fastener beyond its elastic limit. Figure 8-3.carbon. there is a necking down of the material.or Molybdenumbased dry type lubricants can reduce the torque required by as much as 50%. Table 8-2 illustrates the tensile strength for various grades of fasteners. Any lubricant or debris on the threads will greatly effect the torque value. tempered & quenched 150.000 ———————————————————————————————— If a fastener is subjected to excessive torque. dry threads.carbon.Advanced Machine Alignment ing the minimum torque value of the grade 5.000 8 Medium . Properties of Various Grade Fasteners ———————————————————————————————— TENSILE GRADE MATERIAL STRENGTH (psi) ———————————————————————————————— 2 Low carbon 74. tempered 120. That is. Table 8-2.

000 psi would safely produce a clamping force of 104. inspect the keys and keyways of the coupling. its effective cross-sectional area would be reduced to . since this is the minimum cross-sectional area and also an area of stress concentration. inspect all the coupling bolts to assure they are all the same length. Although this may seem like splitting hairs.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Although bolts often fail in the thread area. diameter and grade. driver.7212 square inches. a complete inspection of the coupling is highly recommended. A table of recommended torque values is provided in the appendix section. full-height key or a full-height partial-length key. Using 72% of the minimum tensile strength as a limit. The table of torque values in the appendix is provided as a general guide only. Second. Always use the proper grade fastener and follow the equipment manufacturer’s recommended torque values. The coupling and its associated components are potential sources for machine unbalance. However. Figure 8-3 shows an exaggerated effect of over torquing. or 74. Refer to Figure 2-8 for potential sources of coupling unbalance.209 pounds.844 pounds. First. it is not necessary to disassemble or remove the coupling. Most equipment manufacturers balance their rotating assemblies with a full half key in place.7% of its original effectiveness. unbalance may be introduced into the machine. and its clamping force limit would be reduced to 77. If equipment is assembled with a full-length. and that they all have the same number of nuts and washers. but only to the surface of the shaft or bore. the 11/4 inch grade 8 fastener with a cross-sectional area of . recall from the examples in Chapter 2 that it is the seemingly minor things that .9646 and a tensile strength of 150. That is they completely fill the key way with key material. COUPLINGS When utilizing this method of alignment. and driven equipment.15 inches. If this fastener were stressed beyond its elastic limit such that there was a reduction in its diameter of .

the readings are taken from the stationary shaft to the adjustable shaft. their exact location should be marked on the shafts. the fixture should be removed without disturbing the distances being measured.Advanced Machine Alignment can cause major problems. Prior to removing the fixtures. THE ALIGNMENT FIXTURE AND BAR SAG One of the first steps in any alignment process is to determine how to set up a fixture that will allow you to take the required measurements. so they can be reinstalled in the same location. Measuring Bar Sag . In aligning two shafts. the smaller seemingly insignificant things are too often ignored. across the coupling. Large and obvious defects are usually corrected when they are detected. Rim Indicator Reads Plus Bar Sag @ 12 O’clock Rim Indicator Reads Set to Zero @ 6 O’clock Figure 8-4. Always mount the fixture to read from the STATIONARY equipment to the ADJUSTABLE equipment! Once you have set up a suitable fixture to allow attaching the two dial indicators to read a rim and a face reading across the coupling. However.

and the bar sag can be measured. It should be noted that the error created by not properly compensating for bar sag is multiplied over the length of the machine. This distance should be measured to within ±1/8 of an inch. Bar sag is very important in any precision alignment technique.7 mils on a machine foot 56" away. the pipe with the fixture attached is rotated so that the rim indicator is in the bottom or 6 o’clock position.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions The fixture is now attached to a rigid pipe or shaft.5 mils over a 12" distance becomes an error of 11. BASIC MACHINE MEASUREMENTS The next step is to measure the machine distances. The fixture should now be re-attached to the machine in the 12 o’clock position. it is easier to rotate the fixture so that the face indicator is in the 3 o’clock or 6 o’clock position. and multiply the measured distance by two. no further compensation will be required for bar sag. By leaving the rim indicator set to the (+) bar sag reading. Not compensating for bar sag can create errors sufficient to void the best alignment process. Normally. As with all measurements. Thus an error of 2. It will indicate a plus (+) reading which is the bar sag. care should be exercised to measure the distances as accurately as possible. then measure from the center of the shaft to the center of the indicator stem. The entire fixture and pipe are now rotated to the top or 12 o’clock position and the indicator read. The indicator is then set to indicate zero. Next the distances to the hold-down bolts are measured. Always assure the rim indicator is set to the (+) bar sag when it is in the 12 o’clock position. The most critical measurement is the diameter traced by the face indicator as it is rotated around the machine. To measure the bar sag. . This distance becomes the A distance on the alignment work sheets. The bar sag must be recorded on the alignment form for future reference.

The distances to the feet of the stationary machine should also be measured for future reference. Figure 8-5. These distances are measured from the center of the stem of the rim indicator to the center of the hold-down bolt. In this event. or in the event that thermal growth will be considered. They will also be used in the simplified calculator method and can be input into a computer alignment program. The distance to the adjustable machine’s near foot is the B distance and the distance to its far foot is the C distance. All of the measured distances should be recorded on a simple sketch of the machine. Basic Machine Measurements . The topic of thermal growth will be covered later. A carpenter’s square is useful in transferring these measurements to the machine centerline. STATIONARY Machine A ADJUSTABLE Machine B C NOTE: “A” is the diameter traced by the face indicator. measure and record the distance from the near foot to the remaining feet that are located between the near and far feet. Some machines have more than four feet.Advanced Machine Alignment Generally. These distances will be scaled and used for the graphical solution to the alignment. and record the values and assign a label to each additional foot location. where the measurements are more easily taken. or on forms similar to those contained in the appendix. these distances should be measured to the nearest 1/4 of an inch.

Locating the Centerline of the Adjustable Shaft Locating the two points can be accomplished by either obtaining two rim readings. . it is set to zero. STATIONARY ADJUSTABLE Figure 8-6. but ignoring bar sag. the distance b is the height of the bracket above the centerline of the stationary shaft. The two rim reading method is referred to as the reverse indicator method. with respect to the stationary machine centerline. Rim Face Figure 8-7. the required movement to align the two shafts is easily determined. the objective in any alignment process is to locate two points on the centerline of the adjustable machine. to determine its relative position. the dial indicator would be set to the plus bar sag.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions ABOUT INDICATOR READINGS Since two points determine a straight line. At point 0. or by obtaining a rim reading and a face reading. Once these two points are located. Nomenclature of Shaft Readings Referring to Figure 8-8. and the latter is referred to as the rim and face method.

The distance 1 to 2 is the total reading obtained from the dial indicator. Thus. This is why all rim and bore readings must be divided by two. Geometry of a Rim Reading The nature of a dial indicator is such that as the stem moves out from the body. 0 b 2b C L b A 2 TIR 1 Figure 8-8. the reading is stating that the stationary shaft is lower than the adjustable shaft. These methods of correcting the indicator readings will be used in both the rim and face and reverse indicator alignment . Since the reading is taken on the adjustable shaft. its algebraic sign must be changed. the indicator stem moves outward from point 1 to point 2 recording a negative reading. if the stationary shaft is lower than the adjustable shaft.Advanced Machine Alignment As the shafts are rotated 180 degrees. and the position of the adjustable shaft with respect to the stationary shaft is required. Since the indicator is actually mounted on the stationary shaft. the dial reads in the negative direction. the vertical distance traveled by the indicator stem is 2b. The indicator is now at point 1. Since the total indicator reading (TIR) was a result of a vertical change of 2b. its sign is changed. In Figure 8-8. Anytime a reading is changed from one shaft to the other. This is why rim readings have their algebraic sign changed. a vertical change of b must equal a reading of the TIR/2. the adjustable shaft must be higher than the stationary shaft.

Since the angle formed from lines 1 to 2 and 4 to 5 is 90 degrees. angles a plus b must equal 90 degrees. The resulting indicator reading is the distance 2 to 3. the two triangles 1-2-3 and 4-5-6 must be equal. The Geometry of the Face Reading . 1 b a 6 A a 4 c 2 TIR c b a 3 A’ 7 c 5 Figure 8-9. and since the sum of the angles of a triangle equals 180 degrees. Note that since this reading was taken over the distance A. and the angle formed by lines 4 to 5 and 4 to 6 must equal angle b. This converts a face reading into a rim reading a distance A away from the indicator stem along the adjustable machine centerline.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions processes. and converted to a rim reading A distance along the centerline. reading from the stationary shaft to the adjustable shaft. and the angle formed from lines 1 to 2 and 4 to 6 must be equal to angle a. The indicator is set to zero at point 1 and rotated 180 degrees to obtain a reading at point 2. They are discussed in more detail later in this and the following chapters. Like all readings. In Figure 8-9. its algebraic sign must be changed. Therefore. The triangle 1-2-3 can now be constructed. If a line 4 to 5 were laid out with a length A’ which is equal in length to A. and parallel to the line 2 to 3. angle c. when referenced to the stationary shaft. the distance A is the diameter traced by the face indicator. this reading is not divided by two. the sum of the angles formed at point 4 must equal 180 degrees. Note that the angles c are 90 degrees.

The rim and face method requires that both readings have their algebraic signs changed to reference back to the stationary shaft. since both are rim readings. and the subsequent plotting and calculating of the required movement. Example 8-1 The alignment is to be measured on a machine by both the reverse indicator and the rim and face methods. and is plotted a distance A away from the rim point. and C distances will re- . B. and is marked off vertically from that point and not from the centerline of the stationary shaft. and that the rim reading be divided by two. This principal difference determines the way the readings are handled. The reverse indicator method requires that both readings are divided by two. The rim and face method requires that the face reading be referenced from the rim reading. and that the adjustable indicator have its algebraic sign changed to reference it back to the stationary shaft.Advanced Machine Alignment A A/2 Figure 8-10. The rim and face method takes two readings from the stationary shaft to the adjustable shaft. and one reading from the adjustable shaft that is referenced back to the stationary shaft. The fixtures are so located and assembled that the A. Basic Alignment Fixtures A major difference in these two methods of alignment is that the reverse indicator method takes one reading from the stationary shaft to the adjustable shaft.

45-1/2 inches.5 13. 22 inches. The result is to add 4. This yields S = 2 and M = 0. This results in R = plus two (+2) and F = minus two (–2). A = B = C = 10 inches. both readings are divided by two and the adjustable machine indicator has its algebraic sign changed. For the rim and face method. it is divided by two and has its algebraic sign changed. These two points are marked off on a graph A distance apart. The corrected rim reading is plotted the same as the stationary reading in the reverse indicator method. The rim and face readings are R = minus 4 (–4) and F = plus two (+2). A horizontal line is now constructed to Reverse Indicator S M IB OB R F Rim & Face IB OB +2• • 0 4. That is. Plot the two methods and assure the same movements are indicated.5 mils to the inboard foot and 13 mils to the outboard foot. the rim reading is treated exactly as the adjustable reading in the reverse indicator method. The two points are connected. and this line is extended to intersect two lines representing the inboard and outboard foot locations.0 13. The face reading simply has its algebraic sign changed.0 R = –4 F = +2 S = –4 M = 0 Figure 8-11. The readings for the reverse indicator method are S = minus four (–4) and M = zero (0). For the reverse indicator method.5 +2 • –2 • 4. Plotting the Alignment Results .Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions main the same for both sets of measurements.

the adjustable machine must have its shims. From this point. The shafts are rotated to the 6 o’clock position and a set of readings is taken. Prior to any actual alignment corrections. this should be performed with all old shims removed. As with the stationary machine. The amount of shims under each foot should be measured. . where the indicators should return to their original readings. and base plate inspected and cleaned. If the readings do not repeat within 1/2 mil. continue to rotate the shafts until they return to the 12 o’clock position. several things must be performed. the corrected face reading is measured off. TAKING INDICATOR READINGS Once soft feet are corrected. an initial set of readings can be taken. the fixture is not securely mounted or is not sufficiently ridged. Both of these methods will be explored in detail in this and the subsequent chapter. the rim indicator is set to the (+) sag and the face indicator to zero (0) in the 12 o’clock position. and always rotate the machine in the direction of normal operation. Again a line is constructed passing through these two points and extending through the two foot locations. To assure the information is correct. For the vertical alignment readings. If you rotate the fixture too far. This is especially true of equipment that has gears or tilt pad thrust bearings. machine measurements taken. the fixture assembled. On the adjustable machine. Checks for soft feet should be made as was done for the stationary machine. continue around in the same direction until it lines up. Be sure to always rotate both shafts together (in the event the coupling is not made up).5 mils to the inboard foot and 13 mils to the outboard foot. feet. verified with a micrometer. Never back up to get a reading. and bar sag determined. The result is identical to the result found in the reverse indicator method: add 4.Advanced Machine Alignment intersect the face line a distance A away.

while others prefer the calculator to the graph. Both methods are capable of accuracy of better than 1/10th mil. extreme care should be exercised to assure no burrs exist. this will eliminate most of the possibility of uneven shim crush that can destroy any alignment attempt. If the numbers repeat and you rotated the equipment in its normal operational direction. they will start in one direction and then reverse and read the opposite. However. Be sure . Some people find the graphical method easier to use than the calculator. no more than three shims should be placed under any machine foot. observe the dial indicators to assure you know which way they moved. A large positive reading can be mistaken for a small negative reading. or at least lost the fear of them. The point is that accuracy to within ±1 mil will assure an exact alignment and long equipment life. VERTICAL ALIGNMENT When dealing with cut shims (cut from stock). All shims and shim stock to be used in the alignment process must be measured with a micrometer to verify their thickness. However. Generally. these old shims should be discarded.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions and recorded. return the indicators to the starting position to assure the readings repeat. or stamped shims. it is highly recommended that both methods be used to assure the proper corrections are made. Once again. and you did not go past the 6 o’clock mark and reverse. this may not be required. or perhaps machining spacers. Often. This may require obtaining special shim stock. and the alignment process started from scratch. once you have mastered them. As a word of caution. but no one would attempt such an alignment. besides. 1/10th shims are hard to find. Once a solid alignment program is in place in your plant. you are ready to determine the required vertical corrections. Both methods require only about 2 to 3 minutes each. Properly torque down all hold-down bolts and take an initial set of readings as outlined previously. In addition.

if the distance from the rim to the stationary machine’s outboard foot were 48 inches. If thermal growth is to be considered. dirt and other discrepancies. Note that the graph is a Cartesian coordinate system as studied earlier. due to crush. For instance. Regardless of the method employed. and the distance from the rim indicator stem to the outboard foot of the adjustable machine were 56. A symbol representing a machine foot is drawn at the top of the line. a vertical line is drawn near the edge to represent the outboard foot of the stationary machine. or the pencil point or straightedge slips slightly. Unless the machine is severely misaligned this should be adequate. while the human eye tends to round off the graph. torque. Often. a scale of one inch equals 10 inches could be used. the scale must be such that both the stationary and adjustable machines will fit on the graph. the calculator method will provide the exact answer. The horizontal scale should be determined from the machine measurements.Advanced Machine Alignment that answers obtained from the graphical method and calculator method are the same (when rounded off to the nearest mil). the indicators should zero in the 6 o’clock position. when the proper shims are added and the machine properly torqued. Generally. which represents the final position of both machine shafts when they are aligned to each . then a scale should be determined so that 104 inches would fit on the graph. Assuming that the graph paper is 8-1/2 by 11 and that the horizontal scale will be laid out on the 11-inch side.B. Generally. more than one alignment attempt will be required to obtain zeros. Starting at the left edge of the graph. for outboard foot. the vertical scale can be set at one square equals one mil. A horizontal line is drawn halfway up the graph. THE GRAPHICAL METHOD The first step in the graphical solution is selecting and laying out the vertical and horizontal scales on the graph. and labeled O.

symbols are used to assist in identifying each of these lines as shown in Figure 8-12. and its vertical line is drawn and labeled face indicator. The location of the other machine feet can now be determined from the position of the rim indicator line. Rim & Face Graphical Layout ▼ C Adjustable Machine ▲ ▼ . and a symbol is also drawn at its top. This line is labeled the rim indicator line. then Y must be less than X. Once again. because IB ▼ ▼ OB R F IB OB Final Alignment Line ← D→ A ← ← B → Stationary Machine E ▲ SCALE X:1” = 10”→ Y:1” = 10 mils ↑ ▼ Figure 8-12. this line represents the present location of the stationary machine’s shaft centerline. C and D distances. Next. the indicator readings must have their algebraic signs changed.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions other. Finally. and would be drawn 5. measure from the first vertical line to the location of the rim indicator and draw another line. The distance from the outboard foot to the stem of the rim indicator is 56 inches (“E” distance).6 inches from the first line. This line is labeled the final alignment line. using the scale factor (in this case 1:10). This is necessary to convert the readings from the adjustable machine to the stationary machine. Measure off and label the other three machine feet using the B. (If X is bigger than Y. The alignment data can now be plotted on the graph. and the scale factor. Note that if thermal growth is not to be considered. First. the distance A is measured off from the rim indicator line to the right.) The rim reading is divided by two.

This point is marked and a circle is drawn around it. Where this line crosses the feet of the adjustable machine indicates the amount of shims to be added or removed. Assume in this case that the A distance is 10 inches and the B distance is 18 inches. The point on the face indicator line has a box drawn around it. Since we are only to deal with whole mils. positive numbers are measured up and negative numbers are measured down. the inboard foot would require . and on the rim indicator line. The amount of shims to be removed or added is determined by counting the squares (up or down) from the final alignment line to the adjustable machine centerline at each of the foot locations. This value can now be plotted on the line representing the rim indicator. A horizontal line is now drawn from this point to the same point on the line representing the face indicator. if it is below. The recorded value of the face indicator is now counted off from this point. Label this line the center of the adjustable machine shaft. This line should extend to the right far enough to cross the adjustable outboard foot line.5 mil to be removed and the outboard would require 5. changing the sign yields a minus two (–2). . A point two squares below the horizontal line just drawn represents the face indicator reading.5 mils to be added. the point is located four squares above the horizontal final alignment line. align it so a line can be drawn through the two-circled points. and the outboard foot would have 5 mils of shims added. shims must be removed. In our example. first the algebraic sign is changed and the value is divided by two. Remember. Continuing. if a reading of minus eight (–8) mils is recorded on the rim indicator. Using a long straightedge. Assuming that in this case the face indicator reading was a plus two (+2). shims must be added. This point is marked and circled. This yields plus four (+) 4 mils. If the adjustable machine centerline crosses the foot line above the final alignment line. the inboard foot would be left as is. Since the vertical scale was set at one square equals one mil.Advanced Machine Alignment the nature of a rim reading is such that it measures the offset at the top and the bottom (double the actual misalignment).

a plus (+) means to move the machine to the left. following the ▼ ▼ . Lines connecting boxes mean to copy the first box exactly into the next connected box. each box represents a key or combination of keys to be pressed on the calculator. a minus (–) means to remove shims. and is best understood by viewing Figure 8-14. a minus (–) means to move the machine to the right. Once the correct amount of shims has been determined.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Stationary Machine OB IB R F ▼ ▼ Adjustable Machine IB Final alignment line +4 –2 +.5 ▼ 18 ▲ 48 ▲ E Figure 8-13. Labels above the boxes indicate what data to put into that box. Note how the graphical solution and the calculator method yield the same results when rounded to the nearest mil. A plus (+) number in the final boxes means add shims.5 ▼ OB ← D → ← 10 → ▲ –5. and substituting the proper values into the calculator form yields the results shown in Figure 8-15. Using the distance and indicators discussed in the graphical method. Rim & Face Graphical Solution CALCULATOR METHOD The calculator method is very straightforward. For horizontal alignment. a second set of readings should be taken. In Figure 8-15. miked and installed under the proper foot and hold-down torqued.

Rim & Face Calculator Method for Vertical Alignment Figure 8-15. especially those with weak or semi-flexible frames. This will assure that the correct adjustments have been made. it takes . Certain machines. Remember. small burrs on the shims. Once the fixtures are set up and the machine is down. may require three or even four runs to obtain the exact alignment. an exact alignment can often be made on the first try. dirt or grit can all influence the final outcome. the amount of torque applied to the hold-down bolts. the correct amount of shims should once again be installed or removed. If the second run calls for additional adjustments. Rim & Face Vertical Alignment Solution exact procedures as outlined in the first run. and the alignment tools are on site.Advanced Machine Alignment Figure 8-14. By paying attention to the small details and being clean. the sequence in which they are tightened.

the foot needs to be moved to the right. If the reading or answer is negative. banging the feet with a lead mallet is not the most desirable method to move the machine in the horizontal plane. However. Although all of these methods will not work on a given machine. 1. If the machine is equipped with horizontal bolts. to measure the amount of movement at each foot location. MOVING THE MACHINE IN THE HORIZONTAL PLANE Since this is a precision alignment method. The only difference is that if the graph or the answer to the calculator method indicates a plus (+) reading. Move the machine while observing the align- 2. Once the vertical alignment is completed. one should be adaptable to most situations. Use the jack bolt on the opposite side to move the machine. on either side of the machine. The primary difference in the horizontal alignment is that the rim indicator is set to zero at the 9 o’clock position. The layout of the graph and the calculator methods is performed exactly as in the vertical alignment. With a little thought. Mount dial indicators on the feet of the machine. tighten all jacking bolts snugly against the frame. insert the feeler gauge and run the jack bolt against it. since bar sag plays no roll in horizontal plane. you may devise other practical methods to precisely move the equipment. then remove the feeler gauge. Using the proper thickness feeler gauge. . loosen the jack bolt on the side the machine needs to be moved toward. there are several techniques that will perform well on most machines. This small effort will now pay dividends in extended equipment life. the horizontal alignment can be tackled. the foot needs to be moved to the left. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions very little time to make additional adjustments to obtain the exact desired alignment. Zero both indicators at 9 o’clock and rotate the fixture and shafts to the 3 o’clock position to obtain the readings.

the fewer coupling. jacking bars can be used to pry the machine into position.Advanced Machine Alignment ment dial indicators positioned in the 3 o’clock position. 3. Although most machines do not operate at these extremes. several adjustments may be required to achieve the final alignment. The more accurate the final alignment. Remember. always assure the movement is measured and controlled. A small lead mall may be used to bump a machine into its final position. aligning a machine to within “tolerances” is not the goal of a good maintenance person. With caution. As with the vertical alignment. consideration must be made for thermal growth. Some refrigeration compressors operate at temperatures below freezing while some gas compressors may reach over 300°F. Machines with uneven base plates could cause slight changes in the vertical alignment during the horizontal alignment process. The face indicator should go to zero. Small machines can be moved using bar type glue clamps. and can distort the alignment. For these machines. thermal growth should be considered for all alignment processes. seal and bearing failures. THERMAL GROWTH AND HOT ALIGNMENTS Many machines operate at either hotter or colder temperatures than when they are being aligned. When the horizontal alignment is completed. while the rim indicator should go to 1/2 its reading. A come-along and chain hoist can be employed for moving some large machines. Forms for the horizontal alignment are provided in the appendix. check the vertical alignment again to assure it was not disturbed. Regardless of the method employed to physically move the machine. Changes in temperature cause these machines to either grow or shrink. Once the fundamental understanding of how to compensate for .

0056 Nickel Steel .Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions growth or shrinkage is understood. Metals. expand when heated.1) By rearranging Equation (8.0063 Cast Iron .0063 mils per inch per degree Fahrenheit. like most materials. Table 8-3 lists the coefficient of expansion in mils per inch per degree Fahrenheit.2) Equation (8.0073 Aluminum . The amount they expand is expressed as the coefficient of thermal expansion. with aluminum and bronze being about twice that amount. Coefficients of Expansion ———————————————————————————————— COEFFICIENT OF MATERIAL EXPANSION ———————————————————————————————— Soft Forged Iron . for some common metals for use between 32°F and 212°F.1) the amount of thermal growth for a given length (L) can be expressed as: dL = c × dT × L (8. This is expressed mathematically as: c = dL/dT (8. Table 8-3.0094 Bronze . most steels or cast iron frames have a coefficient of thermal expansion of about . the few extra minutes required will assure the best possible final alignment.0100 ———————————————————————————————— .0059 Soft Rolled Steel . In general.0063 Hardened Steels .2) states the change in length is equal to the difference in temperature times the coefficient of thermal expansion times the original length. This coefficient is expressed as the change in length per degree of temperature rise.

Example 8-2 If a bar of soft rolled steel 12 inches long at 60°F is heated to 300°F. It is accomplished by first aligning the equipment cold. their exact location is marked on the machine to assure they can be placed as close as possible to their original position. These hot readings can now be plotted over the original cold alignment graph. Of these methods. Prior to removing the alignment fixtures. Of interest is the . Therefore.0063 × (300–60) × 12 = 18 mils. Calculate anticipated thermal growth at each foot. how long would the bar be? Step 1. The machine is then placed on line and allowed to heat soak and stabilize at operating temperatures. Using Equation (8-2) and finding the thermal growth coefficient from Table 8-3. After the machine has stabilized. the growth is . A sure sign of thermal growth problems is when a machine’s vibration level increases with time after a cold start up.018 inches long. Use the thermal offset provided by equipment manufacturer. Take a set of hot readings. This is an indication that the unit is growing out of alignment. Most equipment will require a considerable time to cool off. so there is adequate time to obtain a set of hot readings. A set of readings is taken in the same manner as with the cold alignment. it is shut down and the alignment fixture attached as soon as possible. the machinery is cooled to ambient temperature. the results will indicate how many shims to add or remove. 3. 2. the bar would be 12. and the calculator method can be performed. That is. they are close enough to provide solutions that will assure equipment is in exact alignment when it reaches operating temperatures. the third choice is by far the most desirable. There are several ways to compensate for thermal growth: 1. If the machine experienced thermal growth or shrinkage.Advanced Machine Alignment Although these are not the exact coefficients of expansion for all steels and various alloys.

as is indicated by these calculations. Draw a line where the center of the adjustable machines shaft should be when cold. If you are working with known growth at the feet. the desired final indicator readings are required. the final desired cold indicator readings are exactly opposite from the hot readings. it will need to be set exactly opposite. measure the distance and direction (±) from the stationary machine cold alignment line to the adjustable machine cold alignment line. On the rim and face indicator lines. and enter below. we do not want to set the machine at zero/zero when cold. simply count the direction and number of mils at each indicator line. R F ▲ ▼ ↓ Change ± ↓ Times 2 R ▼ ↓ Change ± ↓ Plus F ▼ ↓ Desired Final Toral Indicator Reading ▲ ▼ ▼ Rim TIR Face TIR Figure 8-16. but rather at some offset to compensate for the thermal growth. Determining the Final Desired Indicator Readings . either measured or provided by the manufacturer. This is best understood by studying the calculator method shown in Figure 8-16. Next.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions fact that when the machine is aligned in the future. and by the same amount. If you are using the hot reading method. then determining the desired readings from the graph is very straightforward: R and F are the mils and direction measured from the final alignment line to the cold adjustable machine shaft centerline. That is. To do this precisely. at the rim and face indicator lines.

Pump Outboard Leg height = 22" Pump average temperatures (running) previously recorded: Inboard = 106°F. Even though this method is fairly accurate. Even using the manufacturer’s offsets may not be as accurate as using the hot readings from the actual machine. E = 56". With the unit at normal operating conditions. It’s better to measure the actual growth rather than relying on the equipment manufacturer’s estimated values.Advanced Machine Alignment An alternate method would be to measure the temperature of each supporting leg of both pieces of equipment. Outboard = 138°F. Your equipment operates in a unique environment and under unique conditions. temperature measurements were taken on the pump support legs and frame for thermal growth considerations. This is due to the fact that most equipment supports are not of uniform thickness from their top to their bottom. Example 8-3 An electric motor is used to drive a chilled water pump. C = 36". and the fact that some heat is being dissipated along their length. it still is quite involved. while the unit is operating at normal conditions. and the unit had been down long enough to cool to room temperature. B = 16". . Pump Inboard leg height = 17". D = 14". These average temperatures along with the height from the base plate to the machine’s centerline can be used to calculate the amount of anticipated thermal growth. The ambient temperature during alignment was recorded at 78 degrees. It is suggested that the temperature be taken every two inches from the base plate to the machine’s shaft center line and the average temperature calculated for each foot location. The following measurements were recorded: Machine distances: A = 12". The pump was selected as the stationary piece of equipment.

Both readings have their algebraic signs changed and the rim reading is divided by two and plotted. through the lines representing the pump’s feet. Outboard: CL = . and determining the motor would be the adjustable piece of equipment. cleaned and re-installed. the equipment was checked for level and soft feet. .0063 × 22 × (138 – 78) = 8.2).001 inch or 1 mil. Face = 3 mils What corrections should be made to assure proper alignment in the vertical direction with the pump at normal operating conditions? Step 1. Using formula (8. If no thermal growth considerations were to be made. these readings would represent the amount of shim material to be added to each foot. Step 3.3 mils. The pump case and support legs are constructed from cast iron with a coefficient thermal expansion of . Next. A horizontal line is now drawn to the face indicator line and the face reading marked off from this point. The distance to the cold alignment line is now measured. These answers are rounded to the nearest . Step 2. the equipment was re-torqued and the first set of readings was taken. The pump was also checked for soft feet and all shims were removed.0063 × 17 × (106 – 78) = 2.0063 mills per inch per degree Fahrenheit.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Vertical indicator readings: Rim = –4 mils. the amount of thermal growth (shrinkage) needs to be calculated. Inboard: CL = . A line is now drawn from the two circled points on the indicator lines.99 mils. After cleaning under all feet. After a complete inspection for potential causes of unbalance. the inboard foot shows a minus two (–2) and the outboard foot shows a minus seven (–7). Both the graphical and the calculator methods were employed to assure the correct movement was achieved. The location of the face indicator reading is also circled. In this example.

thus. This line represents where the centerline of the pump’s shaft needs to be located when cold so that it will grow to the cold alignment line when it reaches operating temperature. and the calculated thermal growth was plus eight (+8) mils. the actual indicator readings that will be present when the pump is misaligned for thermal growth need to be deter- . one mil of shim material is required. which is the same as measured on the graph.Advanced Machine Alignment ▲ ▲ R OB IB F IB OB Cold alignment line ▼ • • • –2 –7 Figure 8-17. it is seen that both the inboard foot and the outboard foot need 1 mil of shim material removed. Next. Their sum is plus one mil (+1). These two points are now marked off from current centerline and located on each of the inboard and outboard foot lines. The outboard for cold correction was minus seven mils (–7). For the inboard foot. The inboard would be thus be 3 mils and the outboard 8 mils. By counting from these two points back to the cold alignment line. Cold Alignment Plot based on practical shim thickness. the cold alignment correction was a minus two mils (–2). Their sum is plus one mil (+1). Note that the same results could be obtained by adding the cold readings to the calculated thermal growth. and the thermal growth was three mils (+3). The two new points on the foot location lines are used to construct the hot alignment or final alignment line.

By constructing the horizontal line from the point where the hot alignment line crosses the rim indicator line. The Hot Alignment Line ▲ ▲ R OB Cold alignment line IB F IB OB Hot alignment line ▼ • • ▼ –2 Current center line –7 ▼ Figure 8-19. Simply count or measure the distance from the indicator locations back to the cold alignment line. In this example the rim reads plus one mil (+1) and the face reads zero. the two shafts are parallel ▲ ▲ R OB Cold alignment line IB F IB OB Hot alignment line • –2 • ▼ ▼ –7 ▼ Current center line Figure 8-18.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions mined. Determining the Indicator Readings . both the rim and face readings can be measured. This is accomplished by laying out the indicator positions in reverse. When the face reading is zero.

5) 8.6) . and there is no angularity.4) OB = ± 1 * FC + R A 2 Where: F = R = A = B = C Face indicator reading.Advanced Machine Alignment offset. Distance from the rim indicator stem to the center of the inboard hold-down bolt. = Distance from the rim indicator stem to the center of the outboard hold-down bolt.3) (8. Taking the keystrokes from Figure 8-14 and putting them into equation form yields: IB = ± 1 * FB + R A 2 (8. Ff = Final desired face indicator reading. (8. Continuing working backwards. Using Figure 8-16 and converting the key strokes into equations yield: Rf = –R × 2 Ff = –F + R Where: Rf = Final desired rim indicator reading. These readings should be recorded in the maintenance file for future reference. the rim reading needs to be multiplied by two. This results in a final set of indicator readings of plus two mils (+2) for the rim indicator and zero (0) for the face indicator. and both readings need their algebraic signs changed. Once again the calculated thermal growth is simply added to these readings to obtain the final alignment line. Diameter traced by the face indicator. Rim indicator reading. Substituting into these formulas. the results for Example 8-3 yield minus two mils (–2) for the inboard foot and minus seven mils (–7) for the outboard foot.

the problem is no more complex than a simple pump and electric motor. In general. the B1 and C1 distances are from the gear box feet to the new indicator location. is also a straightforward process. When approaching an alignment problem.6) yields plus two mils (+2) for the rim indicator and zero (0) for the face indicator. such as aligning a cooling tower fan. In the second case. It then becomes the stationary piece of equipment for the subsequent alignment. Simply count or measure the corrections for each foot and add them together. The fixture is first set up across the coupling from the motor to the drive shaft. and a diesel engine. Continue until all the equipment is aligned. the B and C distances were from the gear box feet to the rim indicator stem. EQUIPMENT WITH DRIVESHAFTS Dealing with equipment with driveshafts. Establish the stationary piece of equipment. This will work even if the chosen stationary equipment is in the center of the train of equipment. Either method can be employed to achieve good results. you only need to make one corrective move for both couplings. By superimposing these two graphs. Next. gearbox. In Figure 8-20. and readings are taken.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Substituting the readings from Example 8-3 into Equations (8. if the first run inboard correction is plus five . Thus. and then align the next piece to it. the fixture is moved and placed on the drive shaft to read across the coupling to the gearbox. The larger the scale chosen for the graph. The result is the actual correction required. the calculator method is slightly more accurate. Again readings are taken. In the first case. However. the total correction required is shown. If an equipment train consisted of a steam turbine. a second gearbox. it is always advisable to work both methods to assure there is no mistake. break it down into simple parts. while it was mounted to the motor shaft. centrifugal pump.5) and (8. the better the accuracy.

This may be due to improper alignment. maintenance personnel attribute premature failure of these U-joints to corrosion. the needles and cup are filled with rust. U-JOINT COUPLINGS One word of caution: Some companies have changed to Ujoints in the cooling tower fan drive shafts. and the Ujoint bearings will fail due to a lack of lubrication. because after one fails. Too much misalignment will cause large velocity fluctuations and uses excessive horsepower. too little. the result is to add eight mils (+8) to the outboard feet. A U-joint must be misaligned a proper amount to assure proper lubrication of the needle bearings. Thus the inboard foot is ok. .Advanced Machine Alignment A B C A’ B’ C’ Run #2 IB OB R R F F OB IB Run #1 Figure 8-20. Aligning Equipment with Driveshafts mils (+5) and the second run inboard correction is minus five mils (–5) the result is zero. If the first run outboard correction was plus nine mils (+9) and the second run outboard corrections is minus one mil (–1). Often.

the amount of droop in the fixture is of no concern. Spool piece Figure 8-22. See Figure 8-20 for details. Spool pieces can be measured across just as though they were a coupling. SPOOL PIECES Frequently.04 inches per foot of length. equipment trains are coupled using a spool piece between the two pieces of equipment. it is aligned in the same manner as equipment with a driveshaft. Using the mid-point value of 5 degrees. the drive shaft would need to rise or drop 1. two sets of readings are taken and their sum is used to adjust the alignment. This should be rounded off to one inch per foot of drive shaft length. provided you can build a large enough indicator bracket. This means that the horizontal alignment should still read zero/zero. This alone does not excuse the use of precision alignment. Equipment with Spool Pieces . Proper Alignment of a U-Joint Coupling The proper misalignment for most applications is 4 to 6 degrees. In the case where the spool piece is too long. since the misalignment need be only in a single plane.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions 1 Inch drop in 12 inches Figure 8-21. Since the bar sag is measured and compensated for. That is.

and then correct any soft feet.Advanced Machine Alignment BORE READINGS Some equipment will need to be aligned using a bore reading rather than a rim reading. the first step is to remove all old shims. Bore Readings VERTICAL PUMPS In the case of vertical pumps. Correcting the angularity is easily accomplished with the face indicator when using the rim and face method of alignment. This is found in many large gas turbine/compressor applications. All that is required is to set the positive (+) bar sag at 6 o’clock and take the reading at 12 o’clock. clean the mounting surfaces. The pump is viewed from above and labeled as shown in Figure 8-25. A bore reading is simply an upside-down rim reading and can be handled as such in the alignment process. . and then the parallel offset. The angularity is corrected first. For a rim reading set to + bar sag Record the bore reading For a bore reading set to + bar sag Rotate in normal direction Record the rim reading Figure 8-23.

The following readings were recorded: 1 (or 0 degrees): indicator set to 0 mils. Find the largest positive reading. Set the dial indicator to zero at any of the locations. The diameter traced by the face indicator is set at 12 inches and the indicator is zeroed at point 1.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Figure 8-24. zero will be the highest positive reading. Vertical Pump 3 4 2 1 Figure 8-25. The process is best understood through an example. 2 (or 90 degrees): –1 mils. The distances between hold-down bolts are equal and found to be 14 inches. Top View of Vertical Pump Mount Label the hold-down bolt locations and measure the distances between them. What corrections are required? . Note: If the highest point was selected as the start point. 4 (or 270 degrees): –2 mils. Example 8-4 A vertical pump has four hold-down bolt locations which are labeled as in Figure 8-25. 3 (or 180 degrees): +2 mils. The readings are now adjusted to the highest positive reading by subtracting the highest positive reading from all readings. Rotate the indicator in the direction of normal operation and record the readings at the other hold down locations.

4 (or 270 degrees): –2 mils – 2 mils = –4 mils. the slope is calculated. This is used to correct the readings back to the hold-down locations. The readings are now adjusted by selecting the largest positive reading as zero. Point 4: 18 * –. After the readings were corrected. • ▲ 3 Y A S ▲ 4 ▼ A/2 A/2 2 ▲ 1 X ▼ • ▼ • Figure 8-26. point 3 was the highest hold-down location and the others will be adjusted to the same plane as point 3.500 mils per inch. Step 2. it can be seen that the distances between the four locations where readings are recorded are exactly A/2 apart in the X and Y directions. The slope for the reading from point 3 to point 4 (X direction) is: –4/(A/2) = –4/6 or –. point 1: is the algebraic sum of points 2 and 4 or –21 mils.667 = –12 mils. as follows: 1 (or 0 degrees): 0 mils – 2 mils = –2 mils. Likewise.Advanced Machine Alignment Step 1. 2 (or 90 degrees): –1 mils – 2 mils = –3 mils. and subtracting it from all readings.50 = –9 mils. That is the change over the diameter A traced by the face indicator. all that remains is to calculate the correction amount for the other locations. point 3 became the zero reference point. Since the hold-down location 3 is the reference point. 3 (or 180 degrees): +2 mils – 2 mils = 0 mils. the slope from 3 to 2 (Y direction) is thus –3/(A/2) = –3/6 or –.667 mils per inch. Referring to Figure 8-26. point 2: 18 * – . As seen from the above. Next. Correcting the Readings .

5)2/4) × 480 or approximately 1.131 pounds.7) Figure 8-25. or in combination with the weight of a mounted component that can affect the alignment process. THE CATENARY Some long shafts may exhibit deflection due to their own weight. Step 2. Perhaps the best way to demonstrate the potential effect is through examples. Check the final alignment by repeating the readings to assure the motor is centered over the pump. The deflection for a solid shaft is: dx = 5wL3/384EI (8. Repeat this process for the side 90 degrees from the initial side. the 2-3 side. How much will the center of the shaft sag? How much angular deflection will be present at the end of the shaft? Step 1. Steel weighs approximately 480 pounds per cubic foot. such as the 1-2 side and take a reading on the opposite side. 180 degrees away. no compensation for bar sag is required. Example 8-5 A large roller is made of steel and is 6 inches in diameter. Set the dial indicator to 1/2 its reading and move the motor until the indicator reads zero. so the weight of the portion of the shaft between the bearings is its volume times the density W = V × d or W = L × A × d = (12 × π × (. A Shaft Deflecting Under its Own Weight .Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Since the rim readings are all in the horizontal plane. It is supported by two bearings that are 12 feet apart. Zero the indicator on one surface.

00032. Step 3.00192 inches or 1. This slight error will have no effect on the final answer. The slope of the curve at the bearing is dy/dx or .62.02304 inches. the curvature of the catenary approaches a straight line from its center to the bearing location.00032 is . Since the tangent is also defined as the slope at any point.0183 degrees. Step 2. Thus arctangent of .02304/72 = . The Angle of the Face Due to Deflection of a Shaft ▼ ▼ . The offset in the face reading due to the deflection of the shaft is then expressed as dF = d sin(A). the arctangent function provides the angle the face of the shaft makes with the vertical plane.0183) = . the tangent at the bearing location is closely approximated by a simple triangle. The total deflection at the center is dx = 5(1131)(144)3/384(30 × 106)(63. From this ex- A Figure 8-28. and I = 63.Advanced Machine Alignment The moment of inertia (I) for a solid shaft is: I = πd4/64 (8. Since the catenary for shafts deflecting due to their own weight is very flat. That is.8) If the modulus of elasticity (E) for steel is assumed to be 30 × 106. dF = 6 × sin(. This would be rounded up to 2 mil offset for the face reading. Since the diameter (d) is 6 inches.9 mils.62) = .

02304/12 = 0.00192 inches per foot—well within design limits.7854.00625 inches.36 pounds. The moment of inertia is . the deflection per foot of shaft length is . it can easily be seen that any alignment process that did not account for the sag of large or heavy shafts would result in a poor alignment.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions ample. Now the weight of the rotor must be accounted for. These answers could easily be looked up in the tables provided in the appendix section. c’ = distance from the right-hand bearing to the concentrated . First the deflection of the shaft due to its own weight is calculated in the same manner as in Example 8-4. As a side note. Assuming the rotor has a uniform weight distribution. Example 8-6 A centrifugal pump has a 2-inch diameter shaft that is mounted between two bearings 60 inches apart. good design practice allows for a maximum shaft deflection of .9) Where: c = distance from left-hand bearing to the concentrated load. The sum of the deflection due to the shaft weight and the deflection due to the concentrated load are added together to obtain the total deflection.01 inches per foot of shaft length. Step 2. what is the total deflection at the center of the shaft? What is the face offset required for proper alignment? Step 1. The weight of the shaft is W = 52. For a non-central load: dx = [W * (c/3)/(E * I * ×’)] * {[c * (×’/3) + c * (c’/3)]3}1/2 (8. and the maximum deflection is found to be 0. The rotor element weighs 448 pounds and is mounted 20 inches from the left-hand bearing. In this example.

The A distance for the face indicator is 10 inches.03636 or 0.001420 = 0.00142. Multiplying the sine times the diameter gives the face offset or (2) * . d× = [448 * (20/3)/(30000000 * . the total deflection per foot of shaft length is 0.5 = 0. The horizontal line is now the final alignment line for the center of the adjustable machine. that is the distance from the stem of the rim indicator to the first bearing of the stationary machine. It was found to have a catenary effect of 1. A line is drawn from the rim indicator line with a slope of 1.8 mils over 2 inches.03636 inches or 36.7854 * 60)] * {[(20 * (60/3) + 20 * (40/ 3)]3}. ×’ = 60. This is best illustrated through an example. a new machine measurement is required.0085 inches and is just within design limits.0028410 inches or 2. Since the face offset is 2. = c + c’ In this example. Since half the length of the shaft is 30 inches. c = 20. What corrections are required? Step 1. Taking the arctangent of this slope yields an offset angle of 0. thus c’ must equal 40.8 mils. This deflection of the stationary shaft is treated the same way as thermal growth.36 mils. Since I has already been calculated and the weight (W) is given.4 mils per inch. and found to be 12 inches.Advanced Machine Alignment ×’ load. This measurement is labeled G.001420. The adjustable machine has a B distance of 18 inches and a C distance of 48 inches.042615 inches. A rim reading of +10 mils and a face reading of –5 mils was obtained. The total deflection is 0. this same slope is used to locate the cold alignment line. Step 3.4 mils per inch. the slope at the bearing is 0.042615/30 or 0. In this case.08139 degrees. First.00625 + 0. Example 8-7 The machine in Example 8-6 is determined to be the stationary machine. . The sine of this angle is found to be 0.

All indicator readings will be measured from this newly constructed cold alignment line.4 mils per inch.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions As shown in Figure 8-29 the cold alignment line is drawn from the first bearing location of the stationary machine with a slope of 1. Example 8-7 Machine Measurement Layout ▲ ▼ ▲ ▲ R Bearing Location IBB F IB ▼ ▲ OB Slope of 1. This line represents the current position of the centerline of the stationary machine shaft.4 mils/inch ▼ ▼ 84 mils 42 mils 0 ▲ ▲ 18 ▼ 48 10 ▲ 12 ▲ Figure 8-30. once the machine is R Bearing Location ▼ F IB OB IBB “Cold” alignment line Final alignment line B ▲ ▼ C A ▲ ▲ G Figure 8-29. Centerline of the Stationary Machine’s Shaft ▼ ▲ ▼ . This will assure.

However. It is then marked off from the current position of the stationary machine’s shaft centerline. The two readings’ points are now connected with a line that extends beyond the adjustable machine’s outboard foot line. Next. its centerline will align with the final alignment line. or rest position. In this example. R IBB F IB OB +3 0 –12 Centerline of stationary shaff Figure 8-31. A horizontal line is drawn from this point to the line representing the stem of the face indicator. Final Alignment Requirements . Step 2. The distance from this new line to the final alignment line is now measured at both foot locations for the adjustable machine. the two shafts will be in alignment. As the stationary machine becomes operational. 3 mils of shims would be removed from the inboard foot and 12 mils of shims would be added to the outboard foot. As with all alignment graphs. the adjustable machine must be referenced to its cold.Advanced Machine Alignment operational and the catenary effect removed. while it is at rest. the rim reading is divided by two and has its algebraic sign changed. The face reading is now laid off from this new point. the positive reading requires shims to be removed and the negative reading requires shims to be added. The magnitude and direction are recorded and found to be plus 3 mils (+3) for the inboard foot and minus 12 (–12) mils for the outboard foot.

Check adjustable machine for soft feet. 16. 15. or are made of materials other than stainless steel. 12. 11. 6. Measure and record all machine dimensions. Torque all hold-down bolts. 10. Discard any old shims that have burrs. Inspect coupling bolts. and correct if necessary. Lay out the basic graph dimensions. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions 50 STEPS TO ACHIEVE PRECISION ALIGNMENT 1. using marks as a guide to the correct location. Check stationary equipment for soft feet and repair as required. Zero the face indicator and set the rim indicator to the plus bar sag reading at the 12 o’clock position. brass or plastic. 19. Remove all shims from the adjustable machine and clean under its feet. Correct if necessary. Level. Assure the equipment is locked out and tagged out. 20. 4. Remove fixture and measure and record bar sag. Use no more than three shims under any foot. 5. are torn. center and remove any piping or other stresses from the stationary equipment. 17. nuts. 9. 18. washers and keys. 8. 7. . 13. 2. Determine if thermal growth will be considered. if conditions warrant. Rotate equipment to the 6 o’clock position in the normal direction of operation using caution not to go past the mark. Re-install fixture on machine. Determine which machine will remain stationary. Assemble the alignment fixture on the equipment and mark its location. 14. and repair as required. 3. Remove all old shims from stationary machine and clean under feet. Check coupling end float by barring both machines in the axial direction. Remove the coupling guard and other obstructions.

41. Repeat steps 28 through 36 as required. 31. Plot the readings on the graph. Continue to rotate in the proper direction and verify the 12 o’clock readings. all shims used. and any offset for thermal growth. Assemble the coupling guard and other required parts and operate the equipment until it is heat soaked. Adjust the machine as required in the vertical plane. Record the temperature of the equipment at the time of alignment. Use a calculator to verify the required machine movement. 24. 28. Take and record the indicator readings. 22. 38.Advanced Machine Alignment 21. 42. 36. Rotate the machine 180 degrees to the right side. 25. Observe the indicators as the machine is rotated. Take and record readings at the 6 o’clock position. 33. Rotate the machine in the proper direction and verify the left side zero. Use dial indicators or feeler gauges to measure machine movement. and zero the indicators. 40. Use indicators on fixture if necessary. 37. Repeat steps 19 through 26 as required. Plot the readings on the graph. Mark the left side of the machine. 44. 32. to determine the direction they move. by setting both to 1/2 their readings and moving the machine until both read zero. 27. 23. using the marks on the shaft. 29. Remove coupling guard and other necessary parts and reinstall the fixtures in their original position. Verify machine movements with the calculator method. Shut down equipment and lock and tag out. 43. 35. 30. 34. Verify both the vertical and horizontal alignments. 26. Observe the indicators as the shafts are rotated. . Place the indicators on the left side of the machine. Record all soft feet corrections. 39.

49. Make any required adjustments to the machine. 50. to determine thermal growth. Record all final data. Reassemble and run equipment. The above 50 steps pertain only to the advanced rim and face alignment process. Measure and record the final vibration levels. 46. 47. Plot the results on the original graph. In the following chapter. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions 45. the reverse indicator method of precision alignment is presented. 48. . Take vertical and horizontal readings as detailed above.

The basic difference in these two methods is the types of readings taken. As with any alignment process. This is necessary. an advanced rim and face alignment process was examined in detail. In this chapter. and the left side of the equipment designated.Reverse Indicator Alignment Chapter Reverse Indicator Alignment INTRODUCTION I n the previous chapter. Both methods are capable of accuracy of less than 1 mil. Once all inspections are complete. since both readings are rim readings. In the reverse indicator method. the machine is inspected for level. In the rim and face method. Follow the process outlined in the rim and face method to accomplish these inspections. and there will be machines that will be more easily adapted to one or the other methods. As with the rim and face method. the readings were both taken from the stationary machine to the adjustable machine. one reading is taken from the stationary machine to the adjustable machine. a double rim method known as the reverse indicator method will be discussed. . The alignment processes will be found to be quite similar. The stationary machine must be identified. disassembly of the coupling is not necessary. the indicator fixtures should be assembled on the machine. soft feet. damaged or excessive shims and for sources of unbalance. but a close inspection of the coupling and its components is highly recommended. Next. while the other is taken from the adjustable machine to the stationary machine. several preliminary steps must be performed.

since both indicator readings are affected. The indicator fixture is thus assembled so that one indicator Stationary Machine Adjustable Machine Rread + bar sag Rread + bar sag Zero indicator Zero indicator Figure 9-1. Be sure to determine the proper bar sag for each indicator fixture. determining the bar sag is a straightforward process. Even though the two fixtures are assembled the same. Note that in this method. The fixtures are now removed from the machine and placed on a ridged pipe or shaft to determine bar sag. and thus both indicator fixtures must have their bar sag accounted for. BAR SAG Once again. The indicators are set to zero in the 6 o’clock position and rotated to the 12 o’clock position where the bar sag is read. It is doubly important to account for bar sag using this method of alignment.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Once the indicator fixtures are properly assembled on the machine. and a trial set of readings taken to assure the fixture clears the structure when rotated a full 360 degrees. its location on the two shafts should be clearly marked. Measuring Reverse Indicator Bar Sag . they may have different amounts of sag. both indicators read a rim value.

Once the bar sag values have been determined and recorded. Reverse Indicator Basic Machine Measurements . the A distance is measured to the stem of the adjustable indicator. after being rotated 360 degrees. The fixtures can now be reassembled to the machine. Figure 9-2 shows the machine distances for this method. As with the rim and face method. All distances are measured from the stem of the stationary machine indicator to the respective point. and C distances are required. using the reference marks as guides. MACHINE MEASUREMENTS Now the machine distances can be measured and recorded. assure that both indicators are set to the plus bar sag when they are in the 12 o’clock position. Figure 9-1 shows how the bar sag is determined for reverse indicator method. An initial set of readings can now be taken to assure the fixtures are properly assembled and sufficiently ridged to return the indicators to their plus bar sag readings at 12 o’clock. No further action is required to compensate for bar sag. Again the A distance is the most critical and should be measured to within 1/8". Stationary Machine A Adjustable Machine B C NOTE: “A” is the distance between the two indicator stems. Note that in this method. Figure 9-2.Reverse Indicator Alignment is placed on each machine. and the D and E values if thermal growth is to be considered. the A. B.

Starting with one of the dial indicators at the 12 o’clock position. or input to a computer program. Rotate the machine 180 degrees again. Use the scale factor . and assure the second indicator returns to its plus (+) bar sag reading at 12 o’clock. all graphical points are measured from the stem of the stationary machine dial indicator. The data can now be transferred to the graph. Rotate the machine 180 degrees. and never back up to obtain a reading. Starting at the left of the graph. used in the calculator method. the vertical alignment should be corrected first. and a scale such that the entire machine will fit the graph. Again. rotate the machine in its normal direction of operation to the 6 o’clock position. Use the same principles used in the other method. Remember. noting its direction of travel. Bring the first indicator to the 12 o’clock position where it should return to its plus (+) bar sag reading. The indicator is now read and recorded. use caution to rotate the equipment in its normal operation direction. Note that the other indicator is now in the 12 o’clock position and should be set to its plus (+) bar sag.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions VERTICAL ALIGNMENT As with any precision alignment method. usually 1 mil per inch in the vertical. A suitable scale for the vertical and horizontal scales must be determined. Bring the other to the 6 o’clock position where the second reading is taken and recorded. draw the first vertical line and properly label it the outboard foot of the stationary machine. Be careful to observe the movement of the indicator as it passes through the 180 degrees of rotation. and set to its plus (+) bar sag. GRAPHICAL SOLUTION The graphical method employs the same principles used in the rim and face method of Chapter 8.

Next.Reverse Indicator Alignment and the E distance to locate the stationary machine dial indicator line. and extending completely past the adjustable machine’s outboard foot line. Remember positive numbers are counted up from the cold alignment line. Reverse Indicator Graph Layout Note the similarity of this graph layout with the rim and face graph. and then its algebraic sign is changed. OB IB IB OB S A Final Alignment Line ← D→ A ← ← B → E Stationary Machine C Adjustable Machine ▼ ▲ ▲ SCALE X:1” = 10”→ Y:1” = 10 mils ↑ ▼ Figure 9-3. Again in the vertical alignment. Draw and label this line. Counting from the intersection of the foot lines to the cold alignment line determines the amount of required movement. The only two differences are the labeling of the indicator lines and the way the A distance is measured on the machine. Figure 9-3 shows the final graph layout. if the line is above the ▼ . the adjustable indicator reading is divided by two. and negative numbers down. the stationary indicator reading is divided by two (remember rim readings are always divided by two in any method). Again. the sign is changed to transfer the reading back to the stationary machine. To plot the data. All other points are now measured from this line. A straightedge is used to draw a line connecting these two points. and then laid off on the stationary indicator line. This number is now laid off on the adjustable indicator line.

the answer comes out the same. Refer to Figure 8-13 to see this same machine aligned using the rim and face method. This value is laid off two divisions above the cold alignment line. Step 2. This illustrates that either alignment method will yield the same results.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions cold alignment line. along the stationary indicator line. the adjustable indicator reading is divided by two and its algebraic sign changed. C = 48.5) Figure 9-4. The larger the S A IB IB +. If the line is below the cold alignment line. Next. along the adjustable indicator line. the stationary reading is divided by two.4. yielding a plus two (+2). yielding a plus four (+4) which is laid off four divisions above the cold alignment line. Figure 9-4 shows the completed graph for the example. shims must be added. and the adjustable indicator ATIR = . Even though the indicator readings were different. shims must be removed.5 Stationary Machine C L ▼ Adjustable Machine C L ▼ (5. Note that a scale of one division per mil was chosen for the vertical axis. First. Reverse Indicator Example Plot . What adjustments are required to properly align the adjustable machine to the stationary machine? Step 1. Example 9-1 A machine is measured and the following data are recorded: A = 10. the stationary indicator STIR = + 8. B =18.

the exact same results would occur. and in this example. Reverse Indicator Calculator Key Strokes .Reverse Indicator Alignment scale and the more time taken to assure the drawn lines intersect the indicator points at their centers. Both methods indicate the same basic required changes. Figure 9-5 shows the key strokes for this solution.6 mils to be added to the outboard foot. Viewing the calculator method in equation form: Figure 9-5. 6 mils would be added to the outboard foot and no change would be made to the inboard foot. CALCULATOR METHOD As with the rim and face method. the more accurate the results. If a larger scale were used in the graphical method. and the indicator readings from the reverse indicator example are input.4 mils to be removed from the inboard foot and 5. The calculation method indicates 0. The calculator method is slightly more accurate in this case. there is a simplified calculator method. Figure 9-6 shows the results. adding or subtracting less than 1 mil is not practical. However. If the same machine measurements are used.

A. with the exception that both indicators are set to zero on the left side or 9 o’clock position.2) Where: STIR = the total indicator reading for the stationary machine. Use the same cautions and steps outlined for the vertical alignment to . Reverse Indicator Calculator Results STIR + ATIR * B A IB = 2 ± STIR (9. B and C are the machine measurements HORIZONTAL ALIGNMENT Once again.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Figure 9-6.1) STIR + ATIR * C A OB = 2 ± STIR (9. ATIR = the total indicator reading for the adjustable machine. the horizontal alignment is performed exactly the same as the vertical alignment.

the machine can be moved until both indicators read zero.Reverse Indicator Alignment graph the results and calculate the solution. while the graph should be within less than 1 mil of the calculator. Move the machine until the required readings are observed on the dial indicators. it is the objective to misalign the machine when cold to assure proper alignment under normal operating condi- . This means that when the indicator is positioned at 9 o’clock. Set both indicators to zero and use a controlled method of moving the machine. A final set of both vertical and horizontal readings must be taken to assure the vertical alignment was not upset and that the correct adjustment was made in the horizontal direction. they can be set to 1/2 their readings and observed as the machine is moved. Again the calculator should provide an exact solution. Again. THERMAL GROWTH Thermal growth is basically handled the same as it was for the rim and face method. The moving of the machine during the horizontal alignment was discussed in the rim and face chapter. Since this method employs two rim indicators. the most desirable method is hot readings obtained from the machine after it has been aligned cold. Remember. The best solution is to mount dial indicators to the base so that they read against the feet. Note however that both indicators should be set to 1/2 their value while in the 3 o’clock position only. Use the same procedures to obtain a set of hot readings. Note if a calculator solution is desired. and plot their values over the cold graph. calculate the results of the hot run as with any other run. it will read minus 1/ 2 its 3 o’clock reading. This method can be used on small machines or machines that are easy to move in a controlled manner. and simply add the two runs together algebraically to obtain the final results. measuring the movement of the machine at each foot is the recommended method. With this. However. and will prove more accurate in most applications. and should be reviewed.

The D distance is measured at 12 inches and the E distance at 56 inches. Since the adjustable machine hot centerline . The hot centerline of the adjustable machine also is at plus one mil at the inboard foot and minus two (–2) mils at the outboard foot. After any alignment process. Both machines will grow to the same point on the adjustable machine inboard foot. Next. and thus no correction is required. be sure to record the temperature of all equipment during the alignment process. The outboard foot of the stationary machine grows vertically 3. Determine what corrections need to be made to perfectly misalign the machines to assure proper alignment when at operating temperatures. Step 2. Note again that all distances are measured from the stem of the stationary indicator. The hot centerlines for both machines will be plotted to determine their final positions. the stationary machine hot centerline crosses the inboard foot of the adjustable machine at plus 1 (+1) mil and the outboard foot at zero. What should be the final indicator readings? Step 1.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions tions. When using this method to offset the equipment to compensate for thermal growth. this is accomplished by aligning the machine opposite the hot readings. the hot position of each foot is located and the centerlines for the hot alignment are drawn. be sure to measure and record the final vibration amplitudes and record them on the alignment form for future reference. In this example.5 mils and the inboard foot grows 2 mils. Example 9-2 The machine in Example 9-1 has known thermal growth for both the stationary machine and the adjustable machine. In any alignment process. The basic graph layout is illustrated in Figure 9-7. The adjustable machine will grow 1 mil at the inboard foot and shrink 2 mils at its outboard foot. The first step is to lay out a graph of the equipment and determine the thermal growth effects. This will assure the most accurate final alignment.

Example 9-2—Basic Layout ▲ ▲ IB S A IB OB Hot centerline of adjustable maching +1 mil Zero ▲ ▲ –2 mils .Hot Centerlines ▲ ▼ Figure 9-7.Reverse Indicator Alignment ▲ ▲ IB IB OB OB S A ▲ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▲ ▼ ▲ OB ▲ ▲ Hot centerline of stationary machine Figure 9-8. Example 9-2 .

Now all that is required is to determine the final indicator readings. when the machines are perfectly misaligned cold. Figure 9-10 illustrates how to calculate the final desired indicator reading to assure proper misalignment. In this example no change to the inboard foot was required from either calculation. the cold alignment line crosses the station- ▲ ▲ S Final alignment line A IB IB +5 • Figure 9-9. In this example. Therefore no change will be made to the inboard foot.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions on the outboard foot line is 2 mils below the stationary machine hot centerline. when the machine is cold. This is shown in Figure 9-9. a new plot of the final desired cold alignment is made. Adding these two together requires a total of eight (+8) mils to be added to the outboard foot.Final Cold Alignment Line ▲ +2 • . Step 3. Example 9-3 . Next. The outboard foot required 6 mils of shims to be added for the cold alignment and required to be set an additional 2 mils high to compensate for the hot alignment. the two results are simply added together. Since the cold alignment was worked out in Example 9-1 and found to require no change on the inboard foot and that 6 mils were required to be added to the outboard foot. the final alignment will place the adjustable machine outboard foot high by two mils.

Reverse Indicator Alignment On the stationary and adjustable indicator lines. Therefore the stationary indicator reading (STIR) should be plus ten (+10). The cold alignment line crosses the adjustable indicator line at plus two (+2). since it was already a reading on the stationary machine. measure the distance and direction (±) to the final alignment line and enter below ▼ ▼ S A ▲ ▼ ▼ Change ± ▼ ▼ Times 2 ▼ Times 2 ▼ ▼ ▼ Desired final readings ▲ ▼ STIR ATIR Figure 9-10. the readings always must have their algebraic signs changed. Final Alignment Readings for Reverse Indicator Alignment ary indicator line at plus five (+5). the stationary machine reading was not changed. since they were read across the coupling. . Regardless of the method employed. so that the readings are transferred back to the original machine. Note however that all other readings presented in either method required transferring back to the stationary machine. One final word about alignment. Also. all rim or bore readings must be divided by two. In the reverse indicator method. regardless of the alignment technique employed. when readings are taken from one machine to the other. The final adjustable indicator reading (ATIR) should be minus four (–4).

. since the indicator is mounted upside-down. a bore reading is nothing more than an upside-down RIM reading. their algebraic sign should not be changed when transferring across a coupling. a bore and rim. or a bore and bore alignment process. Thus all that is required is to treat every process involving a bore reading exactly opposite of a rim reading. The remainder of the alignment process is exactly the same as dealing with rim readings. This could be a bore and face. however. Remember.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions BORE READINGS Some machines require bore readings to be taken for the alignment process. The bar sag is set at 12 o’clock as a negative number. Bore readings also must be divided by two. Any of the three systems mentioned above is easily handled with the methods previously outlined.

———————————————————————————————— Grade ———————————————————————————————— Bolt Threads 2 2 5 5 8 8 Oiled Dry Oiled Dry Oiled Dia. per inch Dry ———————————————————————————————— 1/2 1/2 9/16 9/16 5/8 5/8 3/4 3/4 7/8 7/8 1 1 1-1/8 1-1/4 1-3/8 1-1/2 1-5/8 1-3/4 1-7/8 2 13 20 12 18 11 18 10 16 9 14 8 12 7 7 6 6 5.5 38 52 52 71 98 115 157 180 210 230 320 350 480 675 900 1100 1470 1900 2360 2750 31 42 42 57 78 93 120 130 160 175 240 265 385 540 720 880 1175 1520 1890 2200 75 90 110 120 150 180 260 300 430 470 640 710 795 1105 1500 1775 2425 3150 4200 4550 55 65 80 90 110 130 200 220 320 360 480 530 580 805 1095 1295 1770 2300 3065 3320 110 120 150 170 220 240 380 420 600 660 900 990 1430 1975 2650 3200 4400 5650 7600 8200 80 90 110 130 170 180 280 320 460 500 680 740 1070 1480 1980 2400 3300 4235 5700 6150 ———————————————————————————————— .Appendices Appendix A Torque Specifications Torque Values in Ft.-Lbs.5 5 5 4.

When tightening fasteners. assure that a proper tightening pattern is used. Always consult the manufacturer ’s recommended torque specifications if available.225 Pounds 1 Foot x 1 Pound ——————————————— . To convert Newton-Meters into foot-pounds of torque: 1 Meter = 3.4444 Newtons Foot-Pounds = Newton-Meters/1. 1 4 3 8 2 6 3 1 4 7 2 5 Figure A-1.3536 (A-1) . In addition. first torque to 33%. Some Basic Torque Sequences Some newer machines may have metric bolts and the torque specifications may be given in Newton-Meters.28333 Feet 1 Newton = . it is recommended that the final torque value is reached in three stages—that is. and then the final value.30456 Meters x 4. then 66%.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions The above table is provided for reference only.

46631 0.19081 0.43837 0.30573 0.97815 0.01745 0.93969 0.99619 0.17633 0.94552 0.90631 0.06976 0.87462 0.48773 0.08749 0.29237 0.96126 0.32557 0.40674 0.26795 0.24932 0.Appendices Appendix B Trigonometric Tables Tables TRIGONOMETRIC TABLES (0-30) ———————————————————————————————— ANGLE SIN COS TAN ———————————————————————————————— 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 0.24192 0.57735 ———————————————————————————————— .28675 0.27564 0.23087 0.00000 0.22495 0.95630 0.99255 0.36397 0.86603 0.50000 1.00000 0.93358 0.98481 0.21256 0.88295 0.15838 0.44523 0.89879 0.39073 0.00000 0.12187 0.45399 0.97437 0.20791 0.92718 0.92050 0.08716 0.42262 0.42447 0.05241 0.91355 0.03490 0.03492 0.30902 0.35837 0.99863 0.55431 0.10453 0.99985 0.46947 0.50953 0.05234 0.97030 0.99939 0.15643 0.10510 0.99027 0.34202 0.38386 0.12278 0.98769 0.89101 0.17365 0.98163 0.14054 0.34433 0.25882 0.96593 0.19438 0.53171 0.37461 0.13917 0.32492 0.99452 0.99756 0.95106 0.06993 0.48481 0.01746 0.40403 0.

07237 48 0.73135 0.62932 1.68200 0.77715 0.42815 56 0.78129 39 0.76604 0.70021 36 0.48256 57 0.55919 0.90040 43 0.73205 ———————————————————————————————— .65606 1.80978 40 0.83910 41 0.62487 33 0.64279 0.86929 42 0.60182 0.61566 0.96569 45 0.58778 1.93252 44 0.70711 1.60181 1.77715 0.54464 1.03553 47 0.66428 60 0.82904 0.82904 0.78801 0.75471 0.32704 54 0.52992 0.72654 37 0.00000 46 0.66913 1.11061 49 0.52992 1.23490 52 0.83867 0.57358 1.81915 0.75355 38 0.75471 0.81915 0.71934 0.60086 32 0.73135 0.80902 0.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions TRIGONOMETRIC TABLES (30-60) ———————————————————————————————— ANGLE SIN COS TAN ———————————————————————————————— 31 0.50000 1.74314 0.84805 0.53986 58 0.64941 34 0.61566 1.79864 0.84805 0.66913 0.78801 0.74314 0.76604 0.54464 0.19175 51 0.69466 0.70711 0.85717 0.27994 53 0.51504 0.80902 0.37638 55 0.85717 0.79864 0.62932 0.64279 1.68200 1.67451 35 0.57358 0.55919 1.60033 59 0.69466 1.65606 0.58779 0.15037 50 0.51504 1.71934 0.86603 0.83867 0.

97815 0.15643 6.01745 57.43005 86 0.10453 9.25882 3.00000 0.95630 0.51436 85 0.99863 0.74748 71 0.20791 4.99452 0.32557 2.70463 79 0.96126 0.29237 3.14435 84 0.37461 2.98163 0.33148 78 0.08114 88 0.96593 0.35837 2.92718 0.93358 0.89879 0.05233 19.97030 0.60509 70 0.93969 0.48481 1.08715 11.24604 67 0.19081 5.63625 89 0.99255 0.96261 64 0.07768 73 0.24192 4.91355 0.99939 0.12187 8.89101 0.90421 72 0.30902 3.90631 0.46947 1.34202 2.98769 0.99985 0.99756 0.40674 2.48741 75 0.30067 87 0.06975 14.01078 77 0.Appendices TRIGONOMETRIC TABLES (60-90) ———————————————————————————————— ANGLE SIN COS TAN ———————————————————————————————— 61 0.42262 2.05030 65 0.80405 62 0.47509 69 0.14451 66 0.31375 82 0.88073 63 0.00000 ∞ ———————————————————————————————— .27564 3.94552 0.35585 68 0.97437 0.14455 80 0.11537 83 0.39073 2.92050 0.67128 81 0.87462 0.27085 74 0.13917 7.73205 76 0.99027 0.45399 1.28996 90 1.03490 28.95106 0.22495 4.98481 0.99619 0.17365 5.43837 2.88295 0.

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in. . oz.001 in. lb. 28. 25.032808 cm/sec/sec . in. 453.54 cm. 1. 0084674 cm/sec/sec./sec . . in.1047 rad.4536 kg 16 oz.0254 mm Velocity 1 rpm 1 ft/sec 1 cm/sec Acceleration 1 ft/min/min 1 ft/sec/sec .4 mm .97 ft/min. . in. .Appendices Appendix C Conversion Factors ENGLISH TO METRIC CONVERSION FACTORS Length 1 1 1 1 1 1 Mass 1 1 1 1 lb.6 gm.682 miles/hr. lb. mil mil 0254 m 2.083333 ft.35 gm.

75 0.5625 0.3125 0.1875 0.875 0.5 0.4375 0.25 0.625 0.6875 0.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions FRACTIONS TO DECIMALS 1/16 1/8 3/16 1/4 5/16 3/8 7/16 1/2 9/16 5/8 11/16 3/4 13/16 7/8 15/16 0.8125 0.0625 0.375 0.125 0.9375 .

0095874 .0464029 . Removing Weight by Drilling VOLUME OF MATERIAL REMOVED Table D-1 ———————————————————————————————— ———————————————————————————————— 1/16 1/8 3/16 1/4 5/16 3/8 7/16 1/2 9/16 7/8 11/16 3/4 13/16 7/8 15/16 1 1-1/16 1-1/8 1-3/16 1-1/4 .0164596 .1384418 .0035553 .0001317 .1108301 .0003835 .1128961 .0862864 .0034515 .0674183 .0981748 .0020574 .0552233 .0959921 .0004444 .0808658 .1316764 .0383495 .0361616 .0555551 .0751650 .0245437 .0310631 .1242524 .0000165 .0119990 .0187913 .0056456 .0451650 .0015339 .0061359 .Appendices Appendix D D Weight Loss Due to Drilling Drilling DIAMETER DEPTH TIP Figure D-1.0084273 .1533981 DIAMETER TIP PER 1/8TH INCH AFTER TIP ———————————————————————————————— .0648107 .0138058 .0284421 .0219077 .0010534 .

Iron weighs approximately 4. If a hole were to be drilled 10 inches from the center.16667 6. IN.52778 5. What is the depth of the drilling if a 9/16-inch bit is to be used? Step 1. bit removes .52778 ———————————————————————————————— Example D-1 A flywheel 24 inches in diameter requires 1-1/2 inch-ounces of correction weight at 137 degrees.14815 4.0119990 cubic inches. the tip of the 9/16-in.15/4. First. From Table (D-1). or 180+137 = 317 degrees. therefore. It is decided to balance the flywheel by removing material rather than by adding a correction weight.16667 or . The additional depth required is thus .035999 cubic inches must be removed. ———————————————————————————————— ALUMINUM COPPER IRON LEAD STEEL 1. The flywheel is made of nodular iron. Step 2.024 inches .011999 = .035999 – .15 ounces. Table D-2 ———————————————————————————————— MATERIAL OUNCES PER CU.57407 4.16667 ounces per cubic inch. from Table (D-2). add the tip volume to the depth drilled as shown in Figure (D-1).Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions To get the total volume removed. it is removed opposite where the correction weight would be added. Use the following chart to determine the weight removed. the required weight to be removed would be 1. since material is to be removed.5/10 or . a total of .

125 inch of depth. a better solution may be to use a 1/2-inch bit. the number of 1/8-inch increments is .0966 inches past the tip.02757/. Therefore.035999 . and thus the required depth is (.7726 x .0310631 = .0310631 cubic inches per 1/8 inch past the tip.02757 cubic inches.0245437 per 1/8 inch or .Appendices Step 3.0084273 or . Since this depth would be difficult to measure. bit removes .0084273 cubic inches leaving .125 or . From Table (D-1) a 9/16-in.14 inches.125 or . . Also note that multiple holes can be drilled at different radiuses and/or the removed weight can be broken into parts as with the correction weights.0245437) x .024/. The 1/2-inch tip removes .. The 1/2-inch bit removes .

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Appendices

Appendix E

Properties of Steel Shafts
———————————————————————————————— FOR SOLID STEEL SHAFTS ———————————————————————————————— Dia. Moment Lbs. per Dia. Moment Lbs. per in. of Inertia Foot in. of Inertia Foot ———————————————————————————————— 0.25 0.0002 0.16 8.25 227.3975 178.19 0.5 0.0031 0.65 8.5 256.2392 189.15 0.75 0.0155 1.47 8.75 287.7412 200.44 1 0.0491 2.62 9 322.0623 212.06 1.25 0.1198 4.09 9.25 359.3659 224.00 1.5 0.2485 5.89 9.5 399.8198 236.27 1.75 0.4604 8.02 9.75 443.5968 248.87 2 0.7854 10.47 10 490.8739 261.80 2.25 1.2581 13.25 10.25 541.8329 275.05 2.5 1.9175 16.36 10.5 596.6602 288.63 2.75 2.8074 19.80 10.75 655.5469 302.54 3 3.9761 23.56 11 718.6884 316.78 3.25 5.4765 27.65 11.25 786.2850 331.34 3.5 7.3662 32.07 11.5 858.5414 346.23 3.75 9.7072 36.82 11.75 935.6671 361.45 4 12.5664 41.89 12 1017.8760 376.99 4.25 16.0150 47.29 12.25 1105.3867 392.86 4.5 20.1289 53.01 12.5 1198.4225 409.06 4.75 24.9887 59.07 12.75 1297.2110 425.59 5 30.6796 65.45 13 1401.9848 442.44 (Continued)

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions
————————————————————————————————
FOR SOLID STEEL SHAFTS (Cont’d)
———————————————————————————————— Dia. Moment Lbs. per Dia. Moment Lbs. per in. of Inertia Foot in. of Inertia Foot ———————————————————————————————— 5.25 37.2913 72.16 13.25 1512.9808 459.62 5.5 44.9180 79.19 13.5 1630.4406 477.13 5.75 53.6588 86.56 13.75 1754.6104 494.96 6 63.6173 94.25 14 1885.7410 513.13 6.25 74.9014 102.27 14.25 2024.0878 531.62 6.5 87.6241 110.61 14.5 2169.9109 550.43 6.75 101.9025 119.28 14.75 2323.4749 569.58 7 117.8588 128.28 15 2485.0489 589.05 7.25 135.6194 137.61 15.25 2654.9068 608.85 7.5 155.3156 147.26 15.5 2833.3269 628.97 7.75 177.0829 157.24 15.75 3020.5924 649.43 8 201.0619 167.55 16 3216.9909 670.21 ————————————————————————————————

Appendices

Appendix F

Alignment Forms Forms

The forms in this section may be copied without permission. They will be found useful in the alignment process as well as in maintaining maintenance records.

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions .

Appendices .

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions .

Appendices .

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions .

Fan Maintenance Flow Chart . The following illustration shows the logical flow of maintenance for a cooling tower fan. Figure P-1. the following flow charts are provided with the same intent. The following flow charts are presented as amplifications of the segments shown in Figure (P-1).Procedures Procedures Procedures T his section contains sample procedures for cooling tower fans. In addition. Prior to performing any maintenance or procedures. safety rules and regulations should be reviewed. The various procedures are easily modified to fit other types of equipment. These procedures and flow charts may be copied in whole or in part to develop specific procedures for other equipment. A generalized safety procedure is also provided. and should be used as guidelines in the development of other procedures.

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Figure P-2. Inspection Flow Chart Figure P-3. Flow Chart for Soft Feet Corrections .

Flow Chart for Blade Clearance .Procedures Figure P-4.

Flow Chart for Fan Alignment .Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Figure P-5.

Flow Chart for Balancing Slow Speed Fans . Flow Chart for Adjusting Blade Pitch Figure P-7.Procedures Figure P-6.

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions

Procedure

Safety Notes
PURPOSE
This procedure addresses general safety practices and cautions which must be reviewed and understood to assure safety when performing maintenance or inspections of cooling towers or fin fan coolers. It is not the intended purpose of this procedure to be totally encompassing in its scope, but rather to supplement established safety practices, policies and procedures, both general and specific to the area or facility.

RECOMMENDED INTERVAL
These guidelines must be adhered to when performing maintenance or inspections of cooling towers and fin fan coolers.

GENERAL
Prior to performing maintenance or inspections of any equipment, an understanding of safety procedures is required. Become familiar with any special rules and/or regulations that may apply to the specific area of the plant or facility that you will be working in. Thoroughly review all emergency procedures. Often maintenance personnel perform work in many different areas or locations and are not sufficiently familiar with emergency operational procedures to be of assistance. NOTE: It is advisable that a brief safety meeting be held each morning to assure all personnel working in the area are aware of

Procedures

the scheduled activities. This should include designating a location to meet in the event of an emergency to ascertain an accurate head count. In addition, discuss what assistance each individual will provide in handling the emergency.

PROCEDURE
1. Place safety first! 2. Read and understand all procedures to be performed, and adhere to all cautions, warnings, and notes on safety. 3. Review lock out and tag out procedures. 4. Assure operating personnel have all been properly notified of your planned activities. 5. Safety glasses, hard hat, and other protective equipment stipulated for the work location, must be worn at all times. 6. Observe and adhere to all safety warning signs, such as NO SMOKING. 7. Inspect stairways, ladders and railings for wood rot, secure fasteners, and general structural integrity. CAUTION: Large cooling towers must have two means of exiting. In general, most towers have a stairway and either a ladder or other escape system which should be located at the opposite end of the tower. Most towers are fabricated of flammable materials and often the fluid(s) being cooled are flammable. A second escape route is imperative in the event of a fire on or near the primary means of access to the tower. 8. Assure a fire extinguisher is available on the cooling tower deck, and that it has been properly tested and inspected. 9. Sniff (using the proper sniffer or other instrument) for gas or other process fluid leaks, which could be either toxic and/or flammable. 10. When the process fluid is toxic, assure breathing apparatuses are available and in proper working order.

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions

CAUTION: When working alone, assure someone is advised of your location, and an expected time you will check in. Assure all guards and shields in place and properly secured at all times except when making adjustments. 12. Be aware of other operational and/or maintenance activities that could interfere with your safety or the safety of others. 13. Watch for inclement weather, which could produce high winds and/or lightning in the area. WARNING: It may be necessary to tie down certain equipment and parts on towers where wind currents could blow them off and cause injury to persons or equipment below. 14. Do not enter the tower without the use of a safety harness in the event of a slip. CAUTION: It is advisable to have a second person present when entering the fan area or cooling tower is necessary. 15. Assure hoists or other lifting devices used to remove equipment or lift equipment onto the tower are properly rated, inspected to assure the integrity of cables, properly secured to the tower, and are in good working order. 16. Assure the integrity of the decking in and around your work area. Additional supports may be required when removing heavy equipment such as motors and gearboxes. 17. Use proper rigging procedures to secure all loads. 18. Establish clear and precise hand signals, to communicate to persons on the ground. 19. Clean any oil spills immediately to prevent slip and fall and a fire hazard. 20. Keep all hand tools not in use in a tool box to avoid trip hazards. 21. Test all electrical wires and motor frames to assure there is no stray voltage. 11.

Procedures

22. Use only recently calibrated test equipment. 23. Assure all moving parts are secure, including any weight added to fan blades, prior to operating the equipment. CAUTION: Loose objects can become high-speed projectiles and cause serious injury! 24 Inspect all extension cords for insulation, plugs, proper grounding and proper wire gauge for the intended job. 25. Pay attention to the routing of electrical cables. CAUTION: It may be advisable to cover cables in traffic areas to prevent trips. 26. Keep path of cables as short as possible. 27. Unused cables and extension cords should be coiled and stored out of the way. 28. Double check to assure no tools or rags are left in or around the fan stack or shroud prior to untagging and unlocking the power to the motor. 29. Thoroughly inspect your work area to assure it is left in a safe manner. 30. Report any equipment or structural members that are unsafe, to the proper authority. 31. Keep proper written notes. Do not rely on memory!

PROCEDURE 800. Inspect the fan deck supports for decay and loose or broken members. 4. 3. the inspections must note any internal and external corrosion and the buildup of scale and other debris. Towers with metal decking must be inspected for holes in the decking due to corrosion. Inspect for gaps between decking which could cause short circuiting of the air circulation. RECOMMENDED INTERVAL Semi-annually or prior to performing major maintenance. The mechanical condition of the supporting members and all fastening devices must be determined. general inspections are required. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Procedure Fan Inspections PURPOSE This procedure addresses the basic inspection procedures for fans and their associated structural members. GENERAL Prior to performing major maintenance of cooling fans. In addition. prior to performing major maintenance.1 Fan Deck Inspections 1. 2. .101. missing and/or broken members. I. The condition of the corrosion protective coating must be noted. Inspect the fan deck for decay. The proper lubrication and general condition of seals and bearings must also be noted.

6. If so equipped. 3. Record all findings.Procedures 5. 6. Check for any missing and/or broken members of the stack structure. PROCEDURE 800.101.101. inspect fan guards for loose fasteners and excessive corrosion.3 Mechanical Equipment Support Inspections 1. CAUTION: Prior to entering the fan stack area.102. Inspect for proper blade tip clearance using Procedure 800. Observe any wood rot and corrosion of metal retaining rings on wooden stacks. In addition. Inspect tie down and support straps on fiberglass stacks. Check for looseness of fasteners and assure they are not excessively corroded. II. 5. Record all findings.2 Fan Stack Inspections 1. III. rot. 4. All fasteners must be inspected to assure they are tight and free of excessive corrosion. and note any deterioration of any member. 2. NOTE: OSHA requires all fans with stack heights of less than five feet tall be equipped with a fan guard over the entire stack. Fan stacks must be inspected to assure they are securely attached to the fan deck supports. tie down the fan blades to assure accidental rotation cannot occur due to natural drafts within the tower. loose or missing fasteners. PROCEDURE 800. . straps and/or hangers. 7. Insect the equipment support members for corrosion. assure the motor is locked out and tagged out. Check to assure no loose or broken members could fall into the operating fan.

3. using Procedure 800.101. Inspect blade clamping devices for signs of corrosion and assure they are properly torqued. such as springs or rubber pads. Clean the blades of all foreign material. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions 2. Assure tall drain holes are open. Inspect the fan hub for signs of corrosion and assure all fasteners are in good condition and properly torqued. V.5 Gearbox Inspections 1. Check wood for iron rot in areas where wood contacts metal structures. 2. PROCEDURE 800. 4. Blades must be inspected for any build-up of solid materials which can alter both the air foil characteristics and the balance of the fan. 3. Inspect the blades for proper pitch angle. 5. . Inspect any wooden members in contact with equipment supports to ensure structural soundness. check for corrosion and/or loss of vibration absorption properties. 4. IV.4 Fan Inspections 1.105. Record all findings. PROCEDURE 800. 5.101.6. Record all findings. 6. If vibration dampers are used. Assure all hold-down fasteners are properly torqued. using the proper oil. Inspect each fan blade for corrosion and erosion. Check the gearbox for proper oil level and fill as required. NOTE: Hollow blades should have a drain hole drilled near their tip to assure no accumulation of moisture that can alter the fan balance.

4. The condition of the internal surface of the drive shaft can be determined by lightly tapping the drive shaft with a small hammer. and refer to Procedure 800. See Couplings. 3.106. Rotate the fan back and forth to determine the amount of play in the gear teeth. PROCEDURE 800. Inspect all keys to assure they are not excessively corroded and that they are of the proper dimensions to assure proper balance. NOTE: Areas that produce a dead sound indicate possible internal corrosion. 5. Check the input shaft bearing by attempting to move the shaft in a radial direction. Record all findings and action taken. VI. NOTE: Gearbox oil should be changed annually or after extended periods of down time. Inspect the gearbox oil for signs of moisture. Inspect the fan shaft bearing for excessive end play by attempting to lift the fan blade while noting any movement of the output shaft. . along its entire length. 3. Check to assure all fasteners are of the same grade and the same length.Procedures 2.101. Assure all washers are in place and of the same dimensions. All fastening devices must be inspected for excessive corrosion and checked to determine they are properly torqued. 6. Collect a small sample of the oil on a white paper towel and inspect under a strong light for metallic wear particles. 7.6 Driveshaft & Coupling Inspections 1. if so equipped. Inspect the drive shaft for any signs of corrosion. 2.

Inspect the motor fan to assure all blades are clean and not broken or damaged. broken or missing members. NOTE: These types of couplings must operate with the proper amount of misalignment to assure proper lubrication of the Ujoint bearing needles. Excessive misalignment causes excessive velocity changes and loss in efficiency.101. assure it is functioning properly. Inspect couplings for excessive corrosion. wear and proper lubrication. 5. 7. See Procedure 800. Clean or replace as required. 4. 6. Inspect U-joint couplings for proper lubrication. 2. Inspect the motor air inlet passage for excessive build-up of dirt and other solid debris. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions 4. 6. If the motor is equipped with a moisture drain. Inspect shim pack type couplings for cracking. VII. PROCEDURE 800.7 Motor Inspections 1. Record all findings and any action taken. NOTE: The condition of this guard is important in the prevention of serious injury and/or excessive damage to equipment in the event of a coupling or drive shaft failure! 7. NOTE: Over lubrication of motor bearings may lead to insulation deterioration.6.101. 3. and clean if required. Examine all fasteners for corrosion. 5. Inspect the motor for signs of over heating and hot spots. . Inspect motor coupling guard to assure it is properly fastened down. Inspect all fasteners for excessive corrosion. and assure they are properly torqued. Assure the bearings are properly lubricated. Record all findings and action taken. 7.

Lock Torque all hold-down bolts to their proper tightness. Failure to compensate for soft feet could result in internal misalignment and lead to premature failures. measure and record the amount of shim material under each foot. bearing. oil and dirt. RECOMMENDED INTERVAL After major component replacement or when equipment is re-aligned. Remove. GENERAL Prior to attempting to properly align equipment. Gearboxes should be leveled to assure the lack of aerodynamic forces and to assist in the alignment process.Procedures Procedure Soft Feet Corrections PURPOSE This procedure addresses the requirements for determining uneven feet on both drivers and fans. 5. Aerodynamic forces can be generated from uneven blade passage over internal supports within the fan stack. 2. Lock out and tag out the fan motor power. and ease the effort required for coupling alignment. PROCEDURE 1. and outlines the required steps to correct them. 3. Lock Clean all foreign material from under the gear box feet. such as paint. This will assure proper internal equipment alignment. Lock Loosen all hold-down bolts. Lock Using a felt tip marker or similar device. soft feet must be measured and corrected. label each . Coupling. grease. seal and gear failures will be reduced. 4.

Subtract the smallest reading from the remaining readings for each foot. . Use shims or a feeler gauge under the level to determine the amount of correction over the length of the level. Repeat the steps above for the remaining feet. II. Loosen one hold-down bolt at a time noting and recording the indicator reading. Mount a dial indicator to the base plate so the stem will read the vertical travel of the foot as the holddown bolt is loosened. determine the clearance between the foot and the support member. Record this information. The results are the proper corrections for each foot. B. Re-torque the hold-down bolt to its proper value. B. Re-torque the holddown bolt to its proper value. Loosen a hold-down bolt. Dial Indicator Method A. Use a machinists or carpenters level to assure the gearbox is properly leveled. A. Repeat the steps above for the remaining feet. Measure the distance between the hold-down bolts. C. and using a feeler gauge. 8. note “left” and “right.” 6. Feeler Gauge Method A. C. I. 7. 9. Facing the gearbox input shaft. If the gear box is not level then perform the following: i. Lock Measure and record the machine soft feet by one of the following methods. ii. Re-torque the hold down bolts and record the corrections for future reference 10. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions foot. Using proper shim material. add the proper amount of shims under each foot.

After correcting the level from front to rear. correct the level from side to side. = the length of the level. = the shims or feeler gauge reading under the = the distance between the hold-down bolts. . Record the amount of shims added under each foot. Determine the correct amount of shims to add under the low foot. iv.Procedures iii. H L (P-1) = the amount of correction. NOTE: The gearbox must be leveled in both planes. using the following formula: C = R * H/L Where: C R level.

In addition. GENERAL Prior to measuring the blade tip clearance. fan guards may need to be removed prior to performing this procedure. . This assures the fan will operate without excessive aerodynamic forces that can cause excessive vibration. and the steps for moving the gearbox to assure proper tip clearance. the gearbox must be leveled and any soft feet corrected.102. Fan hubs and fan blades also must be cleaned of any scale or other buildup. and must be replaced when completed. If so equipped. RECOMMENDED INTERVAL Annually or after gear box or fan blade replacement. The fan stack must be in a good state of repair and rigid. See Procedures 800.102 and 800. Natural drafts through the tower can cause blades to rotate that could lead to injury. CAUTION: Fan blades should be secured at all times except when rotating them to make measurements.Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Procedure Blade Tip Clearance PURPOSE This procedure addresses the requirements for determining the tip clearance of fan blades. complete an inspection of support members and fastening devices.

where the blade tip passes. 7. Using a steel ruler or a tape measure. b. 8. place a mark on the fan stack near where the blades pass and label it 12 o’clock. as in step 4. Re-torque the retaining bolts and repeat step 4. If the blade is not seated properly. correct the seating depth by loosening the retaining bolts and moving the blade either in or out to achieve the proper blade length. From the readings taken in step 4. a. a negative number indicates it must be moved toward 6 o’clock. 6.Procedures PROCEDURE 1. Subtract the 6 o’clock reading from the 12 o’clock reading. it may need to be replaced. and inspect the mounting at the hub to determine if it is properly seated. 5. Continue in a counter clockwise direction and number the remaining blades 3. 2. This determines the amount of required movement in the plane parallel to the drive shaft. and divide this result by two. Randomly select a blade and using a felt tip marker label it number one. 6 and 9 o’clock positions on the fan stack. This determines the amount . Rotate the fan and measure the clearance of the number one blade at the 3. NOTE: A positive number indicates the gearbox must be moved toward the 12 o’clock mark. If the blade cannot be corrected as in step 6A. and secure fan blades. 6. Subtract the 9 o’clock reading from the 3 o’clock reading. determine if any blade is either too short or too long. and divide this result by two. measure and record the distance between the closest point on each fan blade and the 12 o’clock mark on the fan stack. Locate and label the 3. Using the drive shaft as a reference point. 4. and 9 o’clock positions. Lock and tag out motor to fan.

NOTE: A positive number indicates the gearbox must be moved toward the 9 o’clock mark. 10. noting the amount of movement. a negative number indicates it must be moved toward the 3 o’clock. Attach dial indicators to support members so that they can read the movement of the gearbox. Repeat steps 1 through 9 as required. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions of required movement in the plane perpendicular to the drive shaft. Torque all hold-down bolts and re-measure the tip clearances. loosen the hold-down bolts and bump the gearbox in the proper direction.104 to re-align the drive shaft couplings. and measure the tip clearance after each bump. NOTE: An alternate method is to locate the number-one blade facing the direction in which the gearbox needs to be moved. Zero the indicators. . Use Procedure 800. 9. 9.

Refer to Procedures 800.103. RECOMMENDED INTERVAL After major component replacement or when excessive vibration is noted. . Refer to Procedure 800.Procedures Procedure Fan Alignment PURPOSE This procedure addresses the requirements for proper alignment of the motor and fan gearbox of cooling tower fans. or other large slow-speed fans using the rim and face alignment method. seals.102 and 800. assure fan is properly leveled and entered within the fan shroud.100. PROCEDURE 1. this assures prolonged life of couplings. assure all inspections have been properly made.1 for U-joint couplings. This assures the couplings are properly aligned and that vibration due to misalignment will be minimized.104. Lock out and tag out the motor to the fan. GENERAL Prior to attempting to properly align cooling tower fans. assure soft feet have been corrected. CAUTION: This procedure must not be used on fans with U-joint couplings. Also. In addition. In addition. Refer to Procedure 800. bearings and gears.

Setup indicator fixture on the gearbox coupling to determine fixture measurements. Place the rim indicator at the 6 o’clock position and zero the indicator.103. Rotate the drive shaft in the direction of normal operation to place the rim and face indicators in the 6 o’clock position. Place the alignment fixture on the gearbox coupling so that the indicators read on the drive shaft side of the coupling. Refer to Procedure 800. B1 and C1 distances. 11. Mark the exact location where the fixture mounts to the gearbox. using a felt-tip marker or similar device. Natural draft through the tower can cause blades to rotate that could lead to injury.102. Measure and record the A. 7. Assure all motor and gear box feet have been corrected for soft feet. Set the face indicator to zero. 8. 3. and the rim indicator to the [+] plus bar sag reading at 12 o’clock. Rotate the drive shaft in the direction of normal operation. 4. 10. Refer to Procedure 800. Read and record the bar sag. This can cause severe errors if a small reading was interpreted as a large reading in the opposite direction. 6. except when rotating the indicator fixtures. CAUTION: Always observe the indicators during the rotation of the fixture to assure the readings do not pass back through zero. and set up on a ridged pipe using the same dimensions and fixture components to be used during the alignment process. Assure gear box is level and centered in the fan shroud. Rotate the fixture to place the rim indicator in the 12 o’clock position. 9. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions CAUTION: Fan blades should be secured at all times. Remove fixture. Use the marks to assure the fixture is configured properly for bar sag compensation. . 2. one complete revolution to assure the indicator’s return. then take and record the indicator readings. 5.

18. Remove any ridges or burrs from shim material. Determine the required shim changes for the motor feet. due to gear backlash. If rotated past the desired position. Repeat steps 10 through 12 for the new fixture location. . continue a complete rotation in the proper direction to reach the reading location. Rotate the drive shaft in the direction of normal operation to align the indicators on the left or 9 o’clock position. it is easier if the motor is marked as viewed from the gearbox end. 13. Locate the fixture on the gearbox coupling. Mark the location of the fixture on the drive shaft for future installations. Never go past the reading location and rotate back to it. Verify all shims by using a micrometer. 20. using a felt-tip marker. NOTE: Although either side of the machine can be designated as the left side without causing errors. 16.Procedures 12. Set the indicators to zero. using the marks on the shaft to assure the fixture is placed in its original position. tighten the fixture elements and repeat steps 10 through 12. Remove the alignment fixture and install it on the motor coupling so that the indicators read on the motor side of the coupling. 15. 14. NOTE: Equipment with gears can cause shifts in readings if not rotated in the direction of normal operation. Rotate the drive shaft to the 12 o’clock position to assure the indicators return to their initial readings. mark the LEFT side of the machine. Read and record the new indicator readings. using the graphical method. 17. Assure the fixture dimensions remain the same. Repeat steps 4 through 17 as required to correct the vertical alignment 19. Once the vertical alignment is corrected. 21. If they do not. Measure the new B2 and C2 distances and record them. calculator method or the computer program.

Torque all hold-down bolts and assure all equipment is clear and ready for operation. Rotate the drive shaft to the 3 o’clock position and read and record the indicator readings. Move the indicator fixture to the marked location on the motor coupling. 26. Determine the required motor movements. 29. Measure and record the final vibration levels. . 23. Return the fixtures to the o’clock position to assure they return to zero. 24. Rotate the drive shaft one full revolution in the direction of normal operation to assure the indicators repeat their original readings. 31. (See step 16) 28. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions 22. and record the indicator readings. 25. Remove lock and tag and place unit in operation. Repeat steps 20 through 26 as required. Repeat steps 21 through 24. 27. 30.

to avoid loss of effi- . GENERAL Prior to attempting to properly align cooling tower fans. The maximum angularity allowed is 7 to 8 degrees. RECOMMENDED INTERVAL After major component replacement or when excessive vibration is noted.Procedures Procedure Alignment of U joint Couplings PURPOSE This procedure addresses the requirements for proper alignment of the motor and fan gearbox of cooling tower fans. This assures the couplings are properly aligned and that vibration due to misalignment will be minimized. assure soft feet have been corrected. or other large slow-speed fans.103. seals. assure all inspections have been properly made. this assures prolonged life of couplings.100. bearings and gears. assure fan is properly leveled and entered within the fan shroud. Refer to Procedure 800. a minimum of 1 to 3 degrees of angularity is required. Also. In addition. Refer to Procedures 800.102 and 800. In addition. NOTE: To achieve proper lubrication of U-joint bearing needles.

8. proper alignment to assure proper lubrication of the needles.104 for proper horizontal alignment. Determine the proper direction. Follow steps 20 through 30 of Procedure 800. PROCEDURE 1. 4.1/ 4 inch. Place one end of the level on one mark and hold it in a level position.D) (P-2) Where: S = The amount of motor movement required in inches. the motor must be moved. This procedure aligns the U-joint coupling to approximately 5 degrees. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions ciency and large velocity changes. Assure the gearbox and motor are leveled. This distance must be 1 inch +/. 9. Measure the distance between the centers of the two Ujoint couplings. 3. 10. which occur at two times drive shaft RPM. 7. 5. 2. D = The distance from the level to the drive shaft. 6. L = Length of the drive shaft in inches. and move the motor. If the reading is not within the specified range. and secure the fan blades. Place a large level across the gearbox coupling and mark off two locations on the drive shaft one foot apart. Lock out and tag out motor. Measure and record the distance from the second mark to the bottom of the level. Determine the amount of motor movement using the following formula: S = (L/12) * (1 . Often lack of lubrication in U-joints is blamed on corrosion and not the root cause. .

etc. 3. RECOMMENDED INTERVAL After blade adjustment or major component replacement.Procedures Procedure Blade Pitch Adjustment PURPOSE This procedure addresses the requirements for determining the consumed horsepower of fan motors and the regulation of the load by adjustment of the fan blade pitch. perpendicular to the axis of the fan blade and adjust it to level. Place the level on the trailing edge of the blade marked number one. 3. A clamp-on ammeter and a voltmeter are required to measure the motor horsepower. 2. GENERAL Prior to measuring the consumed horsepower. and set to the same pitch. PROCEDURE 1. starting with any blade. and secure the fan blades. This optimizes motor efficiency and power consumption.). Lock and tag out motor to the fan. Place the protractor on the fan blade from . 2. but a carpenter or machinist level and a standard protractor can be used. Using a black felt-tip marker or similar device. the pitch angle of each blade must be measured. umber the blades in a counter clockwise direction (1. It is best to have a bubble protractor to accomplish setting the pitch angle.

Find the average angle. Record the following motor nameplate information: A. Loosen the retaining bolts and rotate the blade while observing the angle. THREE PHASE AC MOTORS: BHp = (1. it may be necessary to use a flat strip of steel to entirely span the fan blade. Motor Efficiency. Voltage. CAUTION: Assure the blade seating depth is not altered while rotating blades. 8. Re-torque all clamping bolts. Assure all tools and personnel are clear of the fan.73 * I * E * EFF * PF)/746 Where: I = Measured Amperes. 6. Power Factor. (P-4) . 7. PF= Nameplate Power Factor. NOTE: When using a small protractor. and adjust all blades to that value. D. C. then remove the lock and tag and start the unit. B. and measure and record the angle it forms. 4. E. A. 11. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions the leading edge to the trailing edge. Number of Phases. 9. E = Measured Voltage. 10. Calculate the motor horsepower with one of the following formulas. 5. Mark the seating depth with a felt marker prior to loosing the bolts. EFF = Nameplate Efficiency. SINGLE PHASE AC MOTORS: BHp = (I * E * EFF * PF)/746 (P-3) B. Repeat steps 2 through 3 for the remaining blades. Rated Amperes. Start the unit and measure and record the actual voltage and amperes delivered to the motor.

CAUTION: Motors should not be operated over 100% load. it should be increased. manufacturers’ fan curves should be consulted for more exact figures. MHp = Measured Horsepower. if it is less than 95%. To do so could over heat the motor windings and cause a failure. 13. Since this is only a rough estimate. Use the following formula: DRA = (MV/NPV) * NPA Where: DRA = De-rated Amperes. If the percent load is greater than 100% the blade pitch must be decreased. NOTE: If the supplied voltage is lower than the nameplate voltage. NPV = Nameplate Voltage. MV = Measured Voltage. If any pitch changes are made.Procedures 12. due to potential fluctuations in loads. Compare the measured horsepower to the nameplate horsepower to determine the percent load. (P-6) CAUTION: In general. re-measure the percent of motor load. . Exercise care in adjusting the blade pitch. 14. by using the following formula: PERCENT LOAD = (BHp/MHP)/100 (P-5) Where: BHp = Nameplate Rated Horsepower. the rated amperage should also be reduced. A general guide is that 1 degree of pitch changes the horsepower by 8%. NPA = Nameplate Amperage. small pitch changes can cause large changes in the required horsepower. This is true of motors that have 110% or 115% service factors.

This assures the unit will operate with minimum amounts of vibration. bearings and couplings. Only amplitude measurements are required. the pitch angle of each blade must be set. seals. and all mechanical components must be in a good state of repair. Determine the fan RPM from the motor nameplate and the gear ratio of the fan gear box. 3. GENERAL Prior to attempting to balance a fan. which can cause premature failures of gears. RECOMMENDED INTERVAL After major component replacement or when excessive vibration is noted. This procedure describes a method for field balancing of a fan. . 2. the gear box and motor must be corrected for soft feet. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions Procedure Fan Balancing PURPOSE This procedure addresses the requirements for correcting conditions of unbalance in cooling fans. Securely mount a vibration pickup to the fan gearbox in the radial plane. Refer to Procedure 800. the unit must be properly aligned.101 for inspections that must be made prior to balancing the unit. and requires no measurement of phase angle. Lock out and tag out the fan motor. PROCEDURE 1.

2.) . The final balance should be corrected to assure the unit is within tolerance! 7. starting with any blade. 5. The proper size trial weight can be determined using the following formula: (P-6) Tw = . etc. Stop the unit and lock out. NOTE: Generally. RPM = The speed of the fan.). 8.01 * RW/(. by fine tuning the vibration instrument to maximize the reading at operating RPM. Using a black felt-tip marker or similar device. 12. number the blades in a counterclockwise direction (1.177 * (RPM/1000)2 * n) Where: TW = Trial Weight in ounces. but does affect the balancing tolerance. Start the unit and record the amplitude of vibration present. most vibration pickups will be below their linear output range and may read amplitudes significantly below the actual vibration levels. cables or other material. Assure rotating parts of the equipment is clear of all tools. tag out the motor and secure the fan blades. a 2-ounce weight at the blade tip is sufficient for large slow speed fans. 10. NOTE: Since many large fans operate at relatively low speeds (200 . Set the vibration instrument to the filter-in position and adjust the frequency to the operating RPM of the fan. 9. Remove the tag and lock and start the fan. Assure the trial weight is securely attached to the blade or hub. In = The distance from the center to the trial weight in inches. 6. (This is trial run #1.400 RPM). then remove the lock and tag. RW = The Rotating Weight in pounds. when attached to the blade tip. Read and record the new vibration amplitude. 11. This will not affect the balancing process. Attach a trial weight to the number one blade. 3.Procedures 4.

construct a circle with a radius equal to the amplitude of trial run one. 22. using the selected scale. measure the blade angle from the blade one line. assure there is adequate room on the paper to lay out a circle with a radius equal to the sum of these amplitudes. 24. 19. a scale of 1/4 inch equals two mils will be adequate. 23. 18. and label the line blade one. NOTE: Generally. 16. Draw a circle at the center of the page with a radius equal to the original amplitude. counterclockwise to locate the point on the circumference for the blade two line. Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions 13. 17. Select a convenient scale to layout the graphical representation of the unbalance by adding the original and the first trial run amplitudes. construct a circle with a radius equal to the . 15. using the proper scale factor. At the location of blade two on the circumference of the original circle. Follow step 21 and locate blade number three. Remove the trial weight and attach it to blade number two at the same distance from the center. Stop the motor and lock out and tag out the motor and secure the blades. 14. Draw a line from the center of this circle to the 3 o’clock position on its circumference. 21. NOTE: Blade three is located at an angle twice as large as that of blade two. recording the amplitudes as trial runs two and three respectively. Using a protractor. 20. At the location of blade one on the circumference of the original circle. Determine the blade angle by dividing 360 by the number of blades. Repeat steps #10 through #13 for blades number two and three. Record the total number of fan blades.

At the location of blade three on the circumference of the original circle. construct a circle with a radius equal to the amplitude of trial run three. If the location of the required correction weight does not fall at a blade location. At the point where the three trial run circles intersect. 27. 26. by the amount of the trial weight (in ounces). NOTE: This constructed line represents the net unbalance effect of the trial weight if it were located directly opposite the heavy spot on the actual fan. use one of the following methods to determine correct location and amounts of weights to add. Determine the unbalance by multiplying the distance from the center of the fan to the trial weight location (in inches). using the proper scale factor. CORRECTION WEIGHT = (O/T) * TW (P-7) 29. using the proper scale factor. 25. ii. draw a line to the center of the original circle.Procedures amplitude of trial run two. 28. and multiplying by the amount of trial weight added. Measure the length of the line T using the same scale factor. 30. and label it T. Determine the correct amount of weight to be added at this location by dividing the unbalance found in step [i] by the distance from the new location to the center of the fan. Measure off the correct angle from blade one and find a suitable location where a weight can be secured. to determine the amplitude. Measure the angle from blade one to the line T. . This could be on the fan hub. Determine the correction weight by dividing the original amplitude by the amplitude of T. This is the location of the correction weight. EQUIVALENT WEIGHT METHOD i. A. iii.

32. Unlock. 31. These distances represent the amounts of correction weights to be added to each of these blades. At the end of this line. 34. On top of the T line. iv. . Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions B. Unlock and remove tag and start the unit. Using the method in step 21. Repeat the procedure if amplitudes are not within tolerance. 33. iii. Lock and tag out motor and remove vibration equipment. measuring and recording the new vibration amplitude. Measure the distance from the center of the original circle. untag motor and place unit on-line. Securely fasten them at their proper location. along each of the two blade lines to a point where the parallel lines intersected the blade lines. locate the blades on either side of this line. weldments or holes to be drilled. VECTOR ANALYSIS METHOD i. Weigh out the proper amount(s) of correction weight(s) to be added. construct two lines parallel to the two blade lines. ii. Be sure to compensate for any bolting devices. draw a line from the original center with a length equal to the required correction weight. 35. sufficiently long to pass through the opposite blade line.

Index Index Index A Alignment (Also see Misalign ment) Equipment with Driveshafts 142 Equipment with Spool Pieces 144 Forms 185 Methods compared 123 Reverse Indicator 157 Calculator Method for 163 Graphical Solution for 160 Horizontal Alignment using 164 Vertical Alignment using 160 Rim and Face 109 50 steps in 154 Calculator Method for 130 Graphical Solution for 127 Vertical Alignment using 126 U-joint couplings 143 Vertical Pumps 145 Alignment Fixtures For Rim and Face 117 For Reverse Indicator 158 Arcsine defined 69 B Balancing Determining which Method 85 Dual Plane 56 Single Plane 71 Slow speed fans 89 Bar Sag Compensation in Rim and Face Alignment 117 Compensation in Reverse Indicator Alignment 158 Beat Frequencies defined 40 Bolts Grade of 114 Torque Specifications for 171 Bore Readings Rim and Face 144 Reverse Indicator 170 C Catenary Defined 148 Compensating for 151 Conversion Factors 177 Cosine Function defined 22 Tables 173 Law of 62 Couplings Sources of Unbalance in 50 Use of Keys in 116 Critical Equipment defined 15 D Degrees to Radians 23 Drive Shafts 142 Dual Plane Balancing 71 E Electric Motors Magnetic vs. gravitational .

Rotating Machinery: Practical Solutions centers 106. use of in Moving Machines 132 K K (See Spring Constant) L Law of Cosine 62 Law of Sine 61 Length of Waves 37 Leveling (See Soft Feet) M Machine Measurements Rim and Face 118 Reverse Indicator 159 Misalignment Belt Drives 100 Measurements for 105 Phase Angle of 103 Types of 98 Vibration characteristics 105 Modulus of Elasticity 149 Effects on Natural Frequency 38 Moment of Inertia 149 Table for Solid Steel Shafts 183 Moving the Machine Horizontally 132 N Natural Frequency defined 33 Wave Form of 36 O Overhung Rotors 86 P Procedures 191 Q Quasi-Static Unbalance 47 R Radians to Degrees 23 Resonance (Also See Natural Frequency) 33 S Sag in Steel Shafts 148 Shims 111 Sine Function defined 22 Tables 173 Law of 61 . Acceleration of 5 H Harmonics 36 Hooke’s Law 8 I Indicator readings. 111 Measuring Horsepower of 218 Equivalent Weights 67 F Force due to unbalance 43 Four Circle Balancing Method 89 G Gravity. about 120 Algebraic signs of 121 Dividing a Rim reading by 2 121 Taking for Rim and Face 125 J Jack Bolts.

Reverse Indicator Alignment 165 Compensating for.Index Single Plane Balancing 56 Soft Feet Defined 112 Correcting 112 Correction form 190 Spring Constant Defined 10 Strain defined 9 Stress defined 9 T Tangent (Table) 173 Thermal Growth defined 133 Coefficients of expansion (Table) 134 Compensating for. Rim and Face 137 Torquing of Fasteners 113 Over torquing of 115 Torque Values (Table) 171 Trial Weight Force due to 64 U Unbalance Couple defined 46 Dynamic defined 48 Force of 43 Quasi-Static defined 87 Sources of 50 Static Correcting 45 Static defined 44 Types of 44 V Vector Addition 68 Vertical Pumps 145 Vibration Amplitude (See displacement of) Acceleration of 4 Damped 35 Defined 1 Displacement of 3 Diagnostic tool 12 Causes of 12 Equations for 27 Frequency of 3 Force of 5 Period of 2 Phase of 5 Planes of 14 Recording of 18 Recording Data (Form) 19 Severity Chart 54 Velocity of 4 Wave length of 37 W Weight Removed by Drilling 179 Weights (See Trial Weights) .

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