You are on page 1of 10


The crankshaft and the connecting-rod convert the reciprocating motion of the piston into one of rotation. The crankshaft is made very stiff, since it is subjected to severe and varying twisting and bending stresses, due to the combustion pressures and also to the “inertia” effects of the reciprocating parts. The latter effects are the forces due to the acceleration and deceleration of the piston and connecting-rod in their strokes. The twisting or turning action on the crankshaft, which is generally spoken of as the Torque, is constantly changing; this fact necessitates a stronger shaft than for a steady motion. The manner in which the torque varies in the case of a single cylinder engine is as shown fig-1.


It will be observed that firing stroke gives the greatest torque. In this case the greatest torque is no less than 8 times the mean value.

Due to their mechanical design, all internal combustion engines are subjected to two different sources of vibration, that may cause the engine itself to vibrate seriously, namely, 1.Torsional Vibrations, and 2. Engine unbalance vibrations

These vibrations are caused by the irregular turning or torques on the crankshaft, due to the firing strokes of the different cylinders. This force tends to twist the crankpin ahead of the rest of the crankshaft. And when the force against the crankpin recedes, it tends to untwist or move back into its original relationship with the rest of the crankshaft. This twist – untwist action, repeated with every power impulse, tends to set up an oscillating motion in the crankshaft. This is shown in fig-2.


When the period of these vibrations coincides with the natural period of vibration of the crankshaft, this resonance effect is liable to make the vibrations increase to such an extent that the crankshaft is severely stressed above its designed values.

In practice, the selection of working speeds away from the resonant speeds and the use of vibration dampers (also called Harmonic balancers) fixed to the end of the crankshaft are the means used to eliminate or minimize torsional vibration effects. A vibration damper is shown in fig-3.

Fig – 3

1. Idealization of I C Engine: The shafting of an I C Engine with all its cranks, pistons, flywheel, and driven machinery is too complicated a structure to attempt an exact determination of its torsional natural frequency. Thus it is necessary to reduce the machine to the shape as shown in fig-4.

Fig -4

The engine in the above fig. is replaced by a two mass system for the purpose of an approximate calculation of the lowest natural frequency.

2. Idealization of crank throw: The crank can be idealized into a piece of ordinary shafting of the same torsional flexibility. This is physically quite permissible, but the calculation of the flexibility is a very difficult matter. In the fig-5 it is seen that, if the main shaft W is subjected to bending moments and the crank pin P is in twist. It is possible to calculate the angle of twist produced by a certain torque by applying to the webs and pin the usual “beam” formulae for bending and twist. But the results will be inaccurate because these formulae are true only for long and slender beams.

Fig -5

3. Using Holzer’s Method to determine the Natural Frequency:
Item 1 2 . .
Ji – Moment of Inertia Ji ω2 – Inertia torque of each element for an amplitude of 1 radian at the frequency assumed Θi – Angular amplitude of each element Ji ω2 θi – Inertia torque of each element at the amplitude Θi Σ Ji ω2 θi – Value of the shaft torque beyond the element in question Kij – Flexibility Σ Ji ω2 θi/Kij – Windup angle in each shaft


Ji ω



Ji ω θi

Σ Ji ω θi

Kij Σ Ji ω θi/Kij

For the lowest natural frequency we make a rough guess, which can be made by replacing the no. of different masses into two mass system of equivalent mass and then we apply the formula: ω=√k (Ia + Ib)/ Ia Ib
rad / sec

This will be our first assumed natural frequency. Finally the behavior of the assumed frequency against the remaining torque is plotted as shown in the fig – 6, to get the other natural frequencies.

Fig - 6