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# Structures/Motion Lab

OBJECTIVE:

## The objective of this experiment is to perform single-plane and multi-plane balancing

procedures on a rotating shaft system.

BACKGROUND:

Balancing of rotating equipment is a ver y impor tant aspect of the design and operation
of any mechanical system that involves a rotating shaft. Normally, balancing is
performed during the last stages of system assembly but on some mechanical systems,
such as industrial fans or large powertrain/gearbox combinations, balancing may be
required on-site after maintenance/repair/rebuild occurs. Rotating systems are rarely
perfectly balanced; the degree of balance required depends upon the size and location
of the unbalances and the speed of operation.

## Unbalance is generally caused by an unbalanced mass, located at some eccentricity,

spinning about the center of rotation at a constant frequency. Therefore, the force
vector representing each unbalance in the system is a force vector rotating at the speed
of rotation with magnitude equal to m u e ω 2 . The total force unbalance is the sum of all
of the unbalance forces. The total moment unbalance is the sum of all of the unbalance
forces operating at different locations along the axis of rotation (moment arm). Static
balancing refers to a procedure that adds or subtracts mass at some eccentricity to
balance the vector forces. Dynamic balancing refers to a procedure that adds or
subtracts mass at some eccentricity and location along the axis of rotation to balance
the unbalance moments. Dynamic balancing provides a better possible balance
whenever the rotating shaft is long and the number of unbalances occur at many
locations along the axis of rotation.

If the shaft of the rotating system is rigid (the first natural frequency of the shaft in bending
is above the operating speed), dynamic balancing can theoretically balance a system
perfectly using only two arbitrar y planes of balance, regardless of the number of
unbalance planes in the system. Once balanced at one speed of rotation, the system
will be balanced at all speeds as long as the rotating shaft remains rigid.

If the shaft of the rotating system is flexible, the only theoretical way to balance the system
perfectly is to find every plane of unbalance and to balance each plane separately. This
is often not practical. Frequently, two arbitrar y planes of balance will be used to balance
this type of system. In this case, the system will be balanced for only the speed that
was used for the balance calculation. The system can be balanced in a least squares

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sense using multiple planes of balance and multiple speeds but the system will never be
perfectly balanced theoretically. If the remaining unbalance at the operational speeds is
low enough, this may be acceptable. Balancing a rotating system using this least
squares approach, when the operation speed is near one of the natural frequencies of
the rotaing shaft, is ver y difficult.

There are many procedures used to balance rotating systems. The procedure used in
this lab is often referred to as the Trial Weight Method of Balancing.

PROCEDURE:

A rotating, variable speed, shaft-disc system will be used as the test object.

## • Case 1. Single-plane balancing.

One of the discs on the shaft system will be purposely unbalanced and tests will
be performed to achieve a system balance condition.

## • Case 2. Two plane balancing.

The two discs on the shaft system will be purposely unbalanced and tests will be
performed to achieve system balance.

The test procedures will utilize a "Trial Weight" method which will be presented in the
lecture class. The instrumentation for this procedure consists of 2 accelerometers, a
photo-tach, and the Dynamic Signal Analyzer. A MATLAB script will be provided that
will perform the balancing calculations. Note the following:

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• The forcing function is due to the unbalance in the rotor(s). This unbalance
force(s) act at the frequency of the rotation (ω ) with amplitude proportional to the
frequency squared (ω 2 ).
• The frequency response function (FRF) between the measured accelerations(s)
and this unknown force(s) is needed to compute the effect of unbalance on the
response.
• The unknown force(s) cannot be measured directly.
• Therefore, the FRF between the measured acceleration(s) and the tachometer
signal will be computed instead. This measurement, over a limited frequency
range, will give the response with respect to the tachometer reference position.
While the force is unknown, its position relative to the tachometer reference
position is fixed. The frequency domain characteristics of the tachometer signal,
over a limited frequency range, are smooth (nearly a constant) and will not
adversely effect the resultant computations for unbalance force (magnitude and
location).
• Since the tachometer signal involves harmonics, using a frequency range covering
only the range of speed of the first harmonic of the tachometer signal will be
advisable but not required. A suggested set-up might be a frequency range of 0 to
80 Hertz.
• The Dynamic Signal Analyzer should be set up using the following settings: AC
coupled, 500 Averages (90 Percent Overlap, if possible), Flat-Top Window, FRF
Measurement. Note that 500 averages are not really taken. The averaging is
’paused’ once the measurement has been averaged enough.

RESULTS:

For each case, present data that should demonstrate an improvement in the balance
condition of the shaft-disc system. The FRFs between the accelerometers and the tach
signal (in the before and after configurations) can be used to demonstrate that the
response has decreased for the balanced condition. Include plots of the following in
your report (only include data in the frequency range that is relevant):
• FRF(s) between accelerometer(s) and tachometer signal (Magnitude only).
• Unbalanced Condition (Before).
• Balanced Condition (After).
• Coherence(s) between accelerometer(s) and tachometer signal for above cases.

DISCUSSION

Discussion should include a summary of the procedures used with sample calculations
and evaluation of actual and/or expected balance conditions. Should the single plane
balancing procedure yield an improvement (lowered response)? Why or why not?

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CAUTION

When calculating the angle in order to locate the unbalance, note that you must use an
inverse tangent function that takes into account the sign of the numerator and
denominator in order to find the angle in the correct quadrant, from 0 to 360 degrees (or
plus and minus 180 degrees). In Matlab, this is "atan2", not "atan". On your calculator,
you generally have to find the atan and then find the correct quadrant by utilizing the
sign of the numerator and denominator.

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## Figure 3. Two Plane Balancing Rig Configuration

• Original condition:

A1 (ω ) = H 1a (ω ) F a (ω )

• Unknown unbalance:

F a (ω ) = m a r a ω 2

## • Trial weight condition (Plane a):

A1a (ω ) = H 1a (ω ) F 1a (ω )

where:

F 1a (ω ) = F a (ω ) + ∆F a (ω )

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∆F a (ω ) = ∆m r a ω 2

## • Rearrange equations, to obtain:

F a (ω ) A1 (ω )
= = R ej θ
∆F a (ω ) A1a (ω ) − A1 (ω )

location.

## • Calculation procedure (at a particular ω value):

A1 (ω ) = a1 + j b1 A1a (ω ) = a2 + j b2

Then:

Fa A1 a1 + j b1 B e j θ1
= = = = R ej θ
∆F a A1a − A1 (a2 − a1 ) + j (b2 − b1 ) C e j θ 2

where:

 b1 
B=
√
a21 + b21 θ 1 = tan−1
 a1 

 b2 − b1 
C=
√
(a2 − a1 )2 + (b2 − b1 )2 θ 2 = tan−1
 a2 − a1 

B
R= θ = θ1 − θ2
C

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## Figure 5. Two Plane Balancing Concept

• Original condition:

A1 (ω ) = H 1a (ω ) F a (ω ) + H 1b (ω ) F b (ω )

A2 (ω ) = H 2a (ω ) F a (ω ) + H 2b (ω ) F b (ω )

## • Trial weight at plane A ( ∆F a ):

A1a (ω ) = H 1a (ω ) (F a (ω ) + ∆F a (ω )) + H 1b (ω ) F b (ω )

A2a (ω ) = H 2a (ω ) (F a (ω ) + ∆F a (ω )) + H 2b (ω ) F b (ω )

## • Trial weight at plane B ( ∆F b ):

A1b (ω ) = H 1a (ω ) F a (ω ) + H 1b (ω ) (F b (ω ) + ∆F b (ω ))

A2b (ω ) = H 2a (ω ) F a (ω ) + H 2b (ω ) (F b (ω ) + ∆F b (ω ))

• Solve above equations for the unknown balance forces, F a and F b , in terms of the
trial weights.

Fa A1 ( A2b − A2 ) − A2 ( A1b − A1 )
=
∆F a ( A2b − A2 ) ( A1a − A1 ) − ( A1b − A1 ) ( A2a − A2 )

Fb A2 ( A1a − A1 ) − A1 ( A2a − A2 )
=
∆F b ( A2b − A2 ) ( A1a − A1 ) − ( A1b − A1 ) ( A2a − A2 )

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Appendix A: References

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