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Balancing Overhung Rotors

The information provided is for help with Commtest Instruments products:

vb instrument

QUESTION
How can I balance an overhung rotor?

ANSWER
Overhung rotors have characteristics such as Disk Skew and Gyroscopic Effects that can
make them hard or impossible to balance with standard single or dual plane balancing
techniques. This FAQ describes two effective techniques for balancing an overhung rotor;
one for single plane balancing and another for dual plane balancing.

Use the diagram below to follow the steps outlined in each method.

A = bearing furthest
from the rotor

B = bearing closest to
the rotor

C = inboard on the
rotor

D = inlet/outboard on
the rotor

Rotor showing measurement points and correction planes

Using Single Plane Balancing - Static then Couple


The following method resolves static and couple imbalances separately. The static
component is balanced first before dealing with any couple unbalance.

Step 1 - Static Balance


Connect the channel 1 accelerometer to bearing B (closest to the fan) and
perform a single plane balance on plane C only (closest to the bearings).

Step 2 - Couple Balance


When the vibration level at bearing B is satisfactory move the channel 1
accelerometer to bearing A (furthest from the fan).

If the vibration level of bearing A is not acceptable perform a single plane


balance on plane D using 'couple weights'. This means that when placing a trial
weight on plane D, also place an equal weight 180 opposite on plane C.

When the instrument calculates the required balance weight, place it as


directed on plane D and place an equal weight on plane C in a location 180
opposite. Use only the weight and location of the plane D weight when entering
data into the instrument.

Step 3 - Final Static Balance


When the vibration level at bearing A is satisfactory move the channel 1
accelerometer to bearing B (closest to the fan).

If the vibration level of bearing B is not acceptable perform another normal


single plane balance in plane C (i.e. repeat step 1).
Dual Plane Balancing for Faster Results
The following method combines the static and couple balance operations into one. This
method can balance an overhung rotor in four runs (not counting trim balances).
Essentially, perform a dual plane balance; however, when placing trial or trim weights on
plane D also place an equal weight on plane C in a location 180 opposite the weight
positioned on plane D.

1. Connect the two accelerometers on bearings A and B. Initiate a dual plane


balance and collect the initial readings.

2. For the 'left' trial weight apply a known weight in plane C and take the left trial
reading.

3. If you have 'remove trial weights' selected remove all trial weights.

4. For the 'right' trial weight apply a known weight in plane D and an equal
weight in plane C 180 opposite. Use only the weight and location of the plane D
weight when entering data into the instrument. Take the 'right' trial reading and
let the instrument perform balance calculations.

5. If you have 'remove trial weights' selected remove all trial weights.

6. Balance the rotor by applying the weight in plane C as indicated by the


instrument in the 'left' correction plane. For the 'right' correction plane apply the
weight in plane D as indicated by the instrument, and also add an equal weight
180 opposite in plane C, i.e. for every balance and trim balance you will be
applying two weights to plane C and one to plane D.

You can use the instrument's 'combine weights' function to combine the two
weights in plane C into one i.e. use one heavier weight instead of two individual
weights.

The techniques outlined above are effective in reducing vibration on imbalanced rotors. If
vibration persists this may be because the problem is not caused by imbalance. We advise
you to check the machine to eliminate other probable causes of vibration before carrying
out lengthy balancing procedures.

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