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Introduction 2
IPS Diagram and Explanation 2
Phase Diagram and Explanation 3
Nomagraphic Grid 3
Required Items for Sample Balance 4
Sample Balance Installation 4
Illustrated Balance Installation 5
Potential Problems during Sample Balance 6
Establishing Phase and Amplitude Response 7-10
Non-Symmetric Weight Points 11
Three-Point Symmetrical Balance Exercise 12,13
The Sure Shot 14,15
Computing Radius Change and Corresponding Weight Calculation 16
Computing Multiple Weights 17
Glossary of Terms and Definitions 18,19

For many, the balance chart is the most difficult concept to grasp in

dynamic balance. Some know how to use it, but have no idea why it is

laid out the way it is, how it was made in the first place, or what went

wrong when the charttold them to do the wrong thing.

Like anything else, it is easy to use, and even to make your own, once

you understand it thoroughly. Before we start, we have to get some

perspective of what we are doing.

Def: Dynamic Balance A mass (of weight, or lift, or whatever) relative

to its center of rotation while in motion.

Good dynamic balance is achieved by putting the center of mass of a

rotating part at its center of rotation. Since we cant very well change the

location of an output shaft on the rotating component, we have to change

the center of mass instead. This is usually done by adding weight, or

redistributing the available weight, so the center of mass coincides with

the center of rotation.

To affect balance, two pieces of information are required:

1. Amplitude or AMOUNT of correction required.

2. Phase or angular position, which relates to WHERE the correction is

to be applied.
If you think of the center of the chart as the center of rotation, you are a

step in the right direction. The Balancer measures amplitude in Inches per

Second (IPS). Its obvious then the higher the IPS, the farther from the

center of the chart. The balance chart has concentric circles graduated in

tenths of inches per second like diagram A.

Diagram A

Phase can be determined two ways. Either remotely, using a magnetic

pickup, in which case the phazor is used. The phazor registers phase in

clock angles of thirty minutes each. Another way to determine phase,

is use via the Strobex. It is used when a magnetic pickup is impractical to

use. A reflective target is placed on the rotating part, and its angle viewed

with the Strobex while running. On a vertical plane of rotation, 12:00

oclock is up. On a horizontal plane, 12:00 oclock is at the head of the

aircraft. The balance chart has twelve radial lines extending from the

center, as shown in diagram B. these lines correspond to the clock angle

from the Phazor or Strobex.

Diagram B
When the IPS circles and clock lines are superimposed, they form a grid

system on which to plot an out-of balance, this grid system appears in

diagram C.

Diagram C

We make worksheets with only the IPS circles and clock angle lines (P/N

3659), from which we start our charts. They make life a lot easier.

One of the easiest ways to learn dynamic balance is to sit down in a quiet

room and go through the balance procedure. Experimentation yields

valuable insight into practical application.


Required items:

1 Three or Four blade electric fan

1 Roll of tape (500 mph ok, but not required)

1 VIBREX kit

1 Pad worksheets P/N 3659 (or draw up your own)

115VAC power for fan

*12-24 VDC for Balancer

* To use 135M-11 Strobex, 24VDC required. Also DO NOT use a

battery charger or other DC source that does not producecleandirect


To start, a very important note If you are going to make your own chart,

you MUST keep ACCURATE records of where and how much

adjustment is made. Dynamic balance is a slightly inaccurate exercise

anyway, no sense making matters worse by trying to remember weights

and where they were placed.

Use a tabletop cooling fan for your first exercise. They are cheap to run,

quick to start, and seldom pose a safety of flight threat. A four-blade

model is best, but a three-blade will work OK. Leave the five or more

blades alone until you know the three and four-bladed ones real well.

Mount an accelerometer on the fan, so the long axis of the accelerometer

is in plane with the spinning disc. Place a reflective target on one of the

blades. This blade then becomes thetargetor master blade from

which adjustments will be referenced. It will also give us the phase angle

when viewed with the Strobex. Label the remaining blades A,B,C, the

way they pass a point while operating. In fact, it is not a bad idea to
actually writeA,B,andCon the respective blades.

NOTE: Most small 115VAC fans turn about 3200RPM (depending on

power and efficiency). Some motors have the speeds stamped on them. If

it is a variable speed fan, use the highest RPM setting.

1. Reflective Target. IdentifiesTARGETblade.

2. ABlade. Blade which follows TARGET in operation.

3. BBlade. Blade opposite TARGET.

4. CBlade. 5. Fan Motor

6. Accelerometer. Mount in plane of rotation of fan.

7. Accelerometer Cable. Route clear of exhaust, allow slack for fan


8. Fan base. Should be heavy enough to keep fan fromwalking.

Set up the Balancer and Strobe. Make sure there are no loose papers

around, and fire up the fan.

Scan the frequency ranges, using the RPM Tune dial on the Balancer. By

peakingthe IPS meter, you will get close to the RPM of the fan.

If you get little or no IPS, this may be caused by one of two things.

A) It is already balanced (add weight to one blade with tape,

to throw it out of balance); or

B) The accelerometer was placed at a node.

Once you have a good strong IPS (.5 to .9 is good) and steady clock angle,

plot this point on the graph at the intersection of clock angle and IPS.

Remember be accurate. See Balancer manual for tuning instructions.

There it is, 9:00 oclock and .5 IPS. A point on the chart. Label it #1. That

single point wont give any clue to where the corrective weight should go,

so tape some weight to the target blade and take another reading. Plot this
point, labeling it #2. Half the answer is already given. The distance

between points #1 and #2 equals the weight used. So, any time that much

weight is used, the next point will be that far away. Half the weight, half

the distance, etc.

Be sure to add the test weight tape at the same radius on subsequent runs.


The DISTANCE the point went, equals the amount of weight used.
The DIRECTION the point went, equals the phase response.

Take the test weight off, and add it to theBBlade, the blade opposite

the Target. Since the weight is now 180 degrees opposite, the next plotted

point should also be 180 degrees opposite. Take a reading and you will

see. If the three points you have(original, add to Target: and add toB)

dont exactly line up, or the second line isnt exactly the same length as

the first one, dont get upset. This is not uncommon. Remember

dynamic balance is a slightly inaccurate proposition.

The next step is to obtain the move lines for the blades adjacent to the
target. Remove the weight onBif it hasnt been already and put it on

bladeC.Take a reading and see which way it goes. It should be

perpendicular (90 degrees) to the other two lines. By removing the weight

and putting it on theAblade, you will have completed this part of the

exercise. Now you have a four-spoke pattern. The similarity to the actual

weight addition points is not coincidental.

The reason there is a four spoke pattern, is because the weight addition

points on the fan were 90 degrees apart. On an aircraft, these spokes are
thezero linesof the chart. They are determined experimentally by

adding weight to the various weight addition points on the rotor. If the

weight points are 90 degrees apart, the axes on the chart will be 90

degrees apart. If the weight points are 120 degrees apart, the axes (spoke

pattern) will be 120 degrees apart.

To make a chart from the four spoke pattern, superimpose the pattern

over the center of the chart in the same angular relationship it was plotted,

but extend the spokes to the 1.0 IPS circle (outer most circles). Draw two

lines parallel to each spoke at the outer circle. These lines will form the

border of the chart. Place a zero at their point of tangency with the 1.0

IPS circle. Draw a small representative sample of the spoke pattern in a

corner above the chart identifying which weight change produced which

From our previous weight addition, it is known that anytime weight is

added to the target, the next point will go in the 7:00 to 1:00 oclock

direction, so anytime a plotted point lies on the 7:00 oclock side of the

10:/4:00 oclock line, some weight will have to be added to the target. If a

point lies ON the 10:/4:00 oclock line, no adjustment will be required on

the TARGET, orB.Therefore, the 10:/4:00 oclock line becomes the

target zeroline. Place a note at the border under 4:00 oclock the

says ADD to Target. The same is done for add to B,and add to

Cand Aon their respective axes.

That takes care of the phase portion of the chart. The next logical

question ishow much correction?

Suppose the test weight to be five grams. Measure the distance between

the baseline (#1) reading and any point after addition of the test weight,

with a ruler or divider. Transpose one end of this length to the center of

the chart. By referencing the move line length to the IPS circles, you get

the ratio of weight to IPS. In the example, if the lines were .5 IPS ling and

we used five grams, the sensitivity for the chart would be one gram per .1

Now back to the border lines on the chart. Simply transfer the sensitivity

to the border. Normally, sensitivities are linear that is, if (X) equals .2 IPS,

then twice X equals .4 IPS and three times X equals .6, etc. This is true to

a point.
Outside 1.0 IPS (or any severe level), this rule may not hold true. Because

other items may begin to vibrate in sympathy with the rotating element or

because the rate of damping may change, linear measurement may be

impossible at severe vibration levels, So much for linearity.

The finished chart for the example looks something like figure D.
Suppose the weight addition points are not symmetrical and their

distances from the center of rotation are different lengths.

No problem. Establish your move lines as done for any chart. The zero

lines will now correspond to the angle at which the weights are placed A

three-position balance might look like this.

1) Establish move lines and weight sensitivities.
2) INVERT and transpose vectors to center of chart. Draw borders.

NOTE; Borders are parallel to adjacent zero lines. The reason for the

inversion is simple. If we laid out the zero lines for our chart, just like the

move lines, the border adjustments would be backwards. Instead of add

they would have to say subtract. This is OK, butweight can always be

added. It may not always be possible to subtract weight.

3) Draw in weight sensitivities.

4) Make final notations regarding installation, operating speeds, where

the weight is placed, etc., so anyone can use it.


All the trial and error is fine if you have the time. As is often the problem,
the time for test runs is just not available. To speed things up, the

following will help:

1. Work the sample problems in this booklet. They really help.

2. Use the minimum equipment to set up. If you can get by with using the

Strobex and a reflective tape, it will reduce installation time considerably.

Magnetic pickup brackets, interrupters, etc., are OK for routine jobs that

are often done, but are really impractical for one-shot exercises. EX. How

many one-off airplanes are there in the world?

3. Add your first weight opposite the direction the connector of the

accelerometer points, and use a generous enough weight to give a good

length move line. See example on next page.

Now is where your new-found knowledge of balance charts will come in

handy. Follow these steps for a quick finish.

1. Draw a line from your first point to the center of the chart.

2. Draw a line from your first point to second point.

3. Measure the angle between lines in 1) and 2).

4. Move the weight towards the position opposite the accelerometer the

same number of degrees measured in step 3).

5. Add or subtract weight as evidenced by the length of the move line.


Weight sensitivities are based on the amount of weight used at a given

location on the rotor or propeller. It is possible to relocate weights

without having to make several check runs fairly easily, using the basic

weight and balance formula W x A = M, Where W=weight, A=arm (or

radius) and M=total moment.

Diagram E shows a test weight of 25 grams (W) at the rim of a spinner.

The rim is 10from the center of rotation, so 10=A. Suppose the

permanent weight is to be moved inboard on the back of the bulkhead at

the 7radius as shown in diagram F. How much weight is required?

Well, right now the total moment of our test weight is 250gr (25 gr

times 10=250gr.). By dividing the moment by the new radius 250/7

will give our new weight, 36 grams. It will take 36 grams at 7to equal

25 grams at 10.

I have often been asked why I dont recalculate the weight when I move

the test weight on a prop spinner to the inner lip of the bulkhead just
beneath the spinner. I dont simply because thearmis insufficient to

affect the balance significantly.

EX. 35 grams 10 vs. ? grams 9

350gr vs. ? grams 9

350gr/9 = 38 grams

So; 35 grams vs. 38grams. Also, remember it takes about two or three

grams worth of hardware to install the weight inside the spinner. The net

change in moment is then reduced to nearly zero. Consider also it takes

four or five grams to change the balance .05 - .1 IPS on a typical turbo


Computing multiple weights.

Some time it may be necessary to compute a single weight from two

weights placed at different angles or vice versa.

It is not really difficult if the two weights are equal. Suppose you have

run out of available weight allowed on the clamp of two blades. This

weight may be off-loaded to the spinner quite easily.

First, weigh the weight on the blade clamp. Then draw a line between the

middle of the weight on the two blade clamps. The shortest radius to this

line becomes thearm.Multiply the arm times the weight on both

clamps. If the weight was 40 grams on each clamp and the radius was 6,

then the moment would be 40 + 40 x 6=480gr.

Suppose the weight on the spinner band was at the 10radius. 480gr./.

10=48gr. It will take only 48 grams on the spinner band to equal the 80

grams on the two blades where weight was removed.


Accelerometer A transducer which converts mechanical

motion to an electrical signal.

Amplitude Amount

Balance Chart A nomagraphic display depicting the phase

and amplitude response of a dynamic


Balancer Processes and displays signals from


Clock Angle Phase as measured in hours of a clock.

EX.: 12:00 oclock = 360 degrees; 3:00

oclock = 90 degrees; etc.

Dynamic In motion

Good Balance A balance condition which results in the

least wear, most comfort, and best

longevity. As low an IPS as it is possible

to get.

Gram Unit of weight. 28 grams = 1 oz.

IPS Amplitude as measured in Inches Per

Second velocity.

Linear Proportional ratio.

Magnetic Pickup An electrical reflective target, (i.e., if you

cant see to use a reflective target, phase

reference may be done using a remote

sensor. The magnetic pickup serves this


Moderate Imbalance An imbalance which results in long-term

wear and premature failure (.4 to 1.0 IPS).

Move Line Two points connected after a change has

been made to the dynamic balance.

Node A point, line, or surface of a vibrating body

that is free or relatively free from

vibratory motion

Phase Azimuth, or angular position

Severe Imbalance An imbalance which results in short-term

wear or failure (1.0 IPS or more).

Slight Imbalance An imbalance which may be bothersome,

but does not significantly affect wear or

safety (.2 to .4 IPS).

Strobex Displays visually the azimuth of a part.

TARGET Blade Master Blade or any blade from which

adjustments are referenced.

Transducer Anything which converts mechanical motion

to an electrical signal.

VIBREX Derived from the words VIBration

Examiner. Product name for Balance

System manufactured by

Chaswich-Helmuth Company.

Zero Lines The lines on a chart where no adjustment

is necessary on a given axis.