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# Pump Vibrations.

## Kevin R. Guy Delaware Analysis Services, Inc. Francisco, Indiana

Summary. Vibration problems in pumps are not typically related to mechanical problems. Part I of this article describes mechanisms that cause vibration and pumping problems as well as operational parameters that should be monitored. Part II addresses the analysis of pump vibrations.

When a program is used for analysis, the number of data points increases because both trend data and data for analysis - spectrum plots and time plots - are needed. These data provide insight into potential problems and minimize the possibility of having to acquire additional data. Spectrum and time plots are used to analyze 80% of equipment problems if the data base is adequate. Initial fault frequencies should contain the operating speed, two-times operating speed, operating speed harmonics (multiples), and vane pass. Fault frequencies should be listed for the belt-passing frequency. The calculations are as follows.
belt length 2L + [(d1*)/2] + [d2*)/2] belt-pass frequency = [d1*)*N]/belt length BPL = belt-pass frequency, Hz L = centerline distance between sheaves, in. d1 = drive sheave diameter, in. d2 = driven sheave diameter, in. N = rotating speed of drive shaft, RPS

the inside diameter of the pump housing can also cause problems. The vane-pass frequency is the number of blades in the impeller multiplied by the RPM of the shaft. Figure 11 contains plots of spectrum (top) and time (bottom) of a vane-pass frequency from a four-blade impeller operating at 29.75 Hz.

Vane-pass problems can occur if the impeller is not centered in the discharge volute (Figure 10). Inadequate clearances between the outside diameter of the impeller and

Figure 11. Pump Vibration Data Showing Vane-Pass Frequency. Fault frequencies developed for the analysis of the pump are given in the table. Such information is important in identifying frequencies in a spectrum necessary to solve the problem. The time required to generate a data base helps the analyst become familiar with the machine. It is imperative that the analyst be aware of the components inside the pump; e.g., bearing type, impeller vanes, turning vanes, coupling type. The same spectral data are used in Figures 12 through 16. The figures illustrate the ease of frequency identification when fault frequencies are available. The analyst must check fault frequencies with time plots to confirm that both are displaying the same data. Peak amplitude from time plots should be compared with amplitudes in the spectrum plots. Data from spectrum plots should never be the sole source of information for an analysis.

## Figure 15. Electrical Faults of Motor.

Figure 13. Two-Times Operating Speed Misalignment. Figure 16. Pump Vane Pass.
Fault Frequencies Developed for Pump Analysis.
Fault Frequency Operating speed 2x Operating Speed Operating Speed Harmonics Electric Faults Vane Pass Motor Bearings Pump Bearings Type Frequency N x RPM N x RPM N x RPM Fixed (60 Hz*) N x RPM SKF 6211 FAG 7214 Specific Element 1.0 2.0 1.0 60 Hz* 4.0 Brg. File Brg. File # of Harmonics 1 1 5 6 3 10 10

Figure 14. Operating Speed Harmonics Looseness or Excessive Clearance. Boiler Feed Pumps Boiler feed pumps are complex. Data should include all operating variables; i.e., flows, pressures, temperatures. Data from turbine-driven boiler feed pumps should be collected in the same manner as for a turbine generator. Phase and amplitude data should be included with normal vibration data. If the pump drive or feed pump is instrumented with proximity probes, periodic data should be collected directly from the probes. Voltage gaps should be part of the data. A thrust probe should be installed on a pump when proximity probes are installed. The thrust probe provides a warning when the rotating balance component begins to

*North America

contact stationary components. Early warning of such a problem can be observed by the trend of gap voltages. Conclusion Monitoring and analysis of pumps is simplified if operational data are collected along with vibration data. Operating the pump off its design curve can cause vibration problems. The analyst must examine both vibration data and operational problems. Most pump vibration problems occur as a result of bad applications or system problems rather than actual mechanical vibration problems. Utilize all available and trend the information in the monitoring and analysis data base.