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Basic Vibration Analysis

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What Is Vibration?

Terminology

Equipment
How Vibration Is Analyzed Types of Vibration Surveys Interpreting a Vibration Survey Basic Balancing Predictive Maintenance
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What Is Vibration?
Vibration is the physical movement or oscillation of a mechanical part about a reference position.

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What Is Vibration?

Why do we care about vibration?


Vibration is: Wasted energy
A major cause of premature component failure Cause of aircraft noise which contributes to crew and passenger discomfort

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Terminology
Prior to any discussion of vibration, it is important to first understand the common terms used for vibration analysis and their applications.

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Terminology

Amplitude
Amplitude is an indicator of the severity of a vibration. Amplitude can be expressed as one of the following engineering units:
Velocity Acceleration Displacement

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Terminology

Velocity
Velocity is the rate of change in position Typical velocity units are: IPS (Inches Per Second), mm/sec (millimeters per second) Velocity is the most accurate measure of vibration because it is not frequency related. 0.5 IPS @ 1000 rpm is the same as 0.5 IPS @ 10000 rpm.
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Terminology

Acceleration
Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity and is the measurement of the force being produced. Acceleration is expressed in gravitational forces or Gs, (1G = 32.17 ft/sec/sec) Acceleration is frequency related, in that 1 g @ 1000 rpm is not the same as 1 g @ 10000 rpm.

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Terminology

Displacement
Displacement is a measure of the actual distance an object is moving from a reference point. Displacement is expressed in mils 1 mil = .001 inch Displacement is also frequency related, in that 10 mils @ 1000 rpm is not the same as 10 mils @ 10000 rpm.
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Terminology - Continued

Unit Modifiers:
Since vibration is transmitted as an AC signal, there are four Unit Modifiers that may be used to condition the signal. These modifiers have a direct impact on the measurement value. If the wrong modifier is used, the measurement could be either too high, or too low, thus causing possible maintenance action to be, or not to be, accomplished erroneously.
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Unit Modifiers:

Peak to Peak - the distance from the top of the positive peak to
bottom of the negative peak.

Peak - the measurement from the zero line to the top of the positive
peak.

Average (AVG) - .637 of peak. Root Mean Square (RMS) - .707 of peak.

Terminology

Frequencies
The rate of mechanical oscillation in a period of time. Frequency can be expressed in one of the following units:
RPM - Revolutions per Minute CPM - Cycles per Minute CPS - Cycles per Second Hz - Hertz, 1 Hz 1 Cycle per Second (to convert from Hz to RPM or CPM, apply the following formula: Hz * 60 = RPM.
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Types of Vibration
Vibration can be classified into one or more of the following categories:
Periodic Random Resonant Harmonic
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Terminology - Types of Vibration

Periodic
Repeats itself once every time period Result of a mass imbalance in a component or disc. As the component rotates, it produces a bump every rotation which is referred to a the once-perrevolution or 1P vibration. This vibration is usually correctable by balancing.
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Terminology - Types of Vibration

Random
Do not repeat themselves Not related to a fundamental frequency. An example - the shock that is felt as a result of driving down the road and hitting a pothole

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Terminology - Types of Vibration

Resonant
The natural frequency at which an airframe or mechanical system is inclined to vibrate. All things have one or more resonant frequencies. Resonant vibrations are the result of a response in a mechanical system to a periodic driving force.

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Terminology - Types of Vibration

Harmonic
Exact multiples of a fundamental frequency Classified in terms as 1st, 2nd, 3rd..

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Terminology

Bandwidth
Upper and lower frequency limits of the survey being acquired either hardware set (with the use of an external band pass filter) or software controlled by the analyzer.
Setting the frequency bandwidth is a way of eliminating vibration data or noise that is of no interest for your particular application. In the survey above, the frequency bandwidth is 0 CPM to 3000 CPM

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Terminology

Resolution
The resolution of a spectrum is the number of lines or points used to plot the spectrum. The higher the number of lines, the more data acquired.

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Equipment
Sensor
A transducer that converts mechanical motion into electronic signals. Three categories:
Displacement Velocity Accelerometer

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Sensor Type

Displacement
Measures the distance an object is moving from a reference position. This distance is typically reported in mils. Most accurate in frequencies below 10 Hz, or 600 RPM

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Sensor Type

Velocity
Measures the rate of change of position an object is moving, and is commonly reported in Inches Per Second (IPS) Best suited to measure vibrations between ~ 10 Hz and 1000 Hz, or 600 to 6000 RPM.

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Sensor Type

Accelerometer
Measures the rate of change of velocity per time period. Acceleration is reported in Gs
Most effective frequency range for an accelerometer is above 1000 Hz, or 6000 RPM.

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Sensor Selection
The first consideration is manufacturers recommendations. If none exist, then:
Frequency Range

Environmental conditions

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Sensor Installation
Varies depending upon the application.
Most manufactures provide the specific location for mounting and this should be strictly adhered to. If these recommendations are not followed, the resulting measurements may be invalid. Generally, mount in a location that provides the closest proximity to the component of interest.
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How Vibration Is Analyzed


Time Domain - Vibration vs. Time.
A vibration signal is presented as a sin wave form with all frequencies and amplitudes combining to give one overall signal.

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What a Vibration Sensor Sees


Signals from four helicopter component vibrations: Main Rotor 1x, Main Rotor 2x, Tail Rotor, and Tail Rotor Drive combined by the vibration sensor to produce one signal.

This would be difficult at best to use as a means of determining vibration faults in mechanical structure.

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Separated, the four signals are distiguishable. To separate the signals, a conversion is required.

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How Vibration Is Analyzed


Frequency Domain
By applying the FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) algorithm to a Time Domain signal, it is converted to the Frequency Domain. In the Frequency Domain, each individual amplitude and frequency point are displayed.

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The Frequency domain spectra shown here has separated all four of the components listed earlier, Main Rotor 1x, 2x, Tail Rotor, and Tail Rotor Drive, into their own individual points showing both the frequency (RPM) and Amplitude (IPS).

Types of Vibration Surveys


Overall Vibration Steady State Transient Synchronous Peak Hold
All have a very specific application.

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Types of Vibration Surveys

Overall Vibration
Outputs the sum of all vibration measured within a specified frequency range.
Used as an initial alarm type survey, whereby if the overall indication is above a specified value, a more detailed survey is performed to identify the possible cause.
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Types of Vibration Surveys

Steady State
Used to measure vibration at a constant engine/component operational frequency. Used to determine the speed / frequency at which balancing should be performed. It can also be used to identify critical operational conditions.
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Types of Vibration Surveys

Transient
Data collected during a controlled change in the aircraft / component operational frequency.
Often used in trending vibration over time by comparing surveys taken at specified intervals.

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Types of Vibration Surveys

Peak Hold
The maximum amplitude value measured is captured and held.

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Types of Vibration Surveys

Synchronous
Utilizes a tachometer signal and a filter to track vibration of a specific rotor or shaft. The filter eliminates all vibrations above and below the tachometer signal input plus or minus the filter value. Used to determine the amplitude and phase (clock) angle of an imbalance condition.
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Interpreting a Vibration Survey


Define the frequency range
Identify component frequency.
Frequency charts Multiple components within a system such as a gearbox will have the ratio listed versus some operational speed of the assembly, typically 100 %.

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Interpreting a Vibration Survey

Using a Cursor
Modern digital analysis equipment provides for identification of frequencies within a spectral plot with the use of a cursor. When the cursor is placed over a peak in the plot, the specific frequency and amplitude values for that point are displayed.

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Interpreting a Vibration Survey - continued

Harmonic Cursor
Using the same example as before, the harmonic multiples of the primary peak identified can also be identified by using the harmonic option (if available). When the harmonic function is pressed, the analyzer will position one additional cursor at each of the multiples throughout the range.
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Basic Balancing
Mass Imbalance
Aerodynamic Imbalance

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Fundamentals of Balancing

Data Collection and Processing


The vibration sensor is installed on the engine as near the front bearing as possible. The Phototach is mounted on the cowling, behind the propeller. The reflective tape is applied to the back side of the target propeller blade in line with the Phototach beam. The mass is located by the relative occurrence of tach trigger and mass passage at the radial sensor location.
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Fundamentals of Balancing

Data Collection and Processing


As the heavy spot on the propeller passes the location of the vibration sensor, the sensor generates and sends an electrical pulse to the analyzer. The Reflective tape triggers a response as it passes the Phototach, which then sends an electrical signal to the analyzer.

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Fundamentals of Balancing

Data Collection and Processing


In this illustration, the vibration sensor and Phototach beam are co-located at the 12:00 or 0 degree position. Rotation is clock-wise from the viewers position. This is our starting point, elapsed time = 0
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Fundamentals of Balancing

Data Collection and Processing


The speed is 1 RPM. Fifteen seconds (90 degrees) of travel has occurred. In this sequence, the reflective tape has just entered the Phototach beam to trigger the tach event. Elapsed time = 15 seconds.

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Fundamentals of Balancing

Data Collection and Processing


In this sequence, the mass (heavy spot) is passing the accelerometer position, 15 seconds (90 degrees) after the tape passed the Phototach beam. Elapsed time = 15 seconds (90 degrees of travel).
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Fundamentals of Balancing

Data Collection and Processing


The tape and mass have both passed the 0 degree location. The unit now waits for the exact sequence to repeat for averaging. Solution would be to add weight at 270 degrees.

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Fundamentals of Balancing

Data Collection and Processing


The process is repeated while the analyzer averages out errors caused by momentary vibration events outside the running average.
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Predictive Maintenance
Define interval Define requirements Select equipment that meets requirements Implement the program Evaluate the program

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Predictive Maintenance

Define Interval
How often do we acquire data?
Inspections/Hourly

Define Requirements
What components do we have interest in?
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Predictive Maintenance

Select equipment that meets requirements


Frequency Range
Environmental Conditions Software Cost

Implement the program Evaluate the program


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Review
What Is Vibration? Terminology Equipment How Vibration Is Analyzed

Types of Vibration Surveys


Interpreting a Vibration Survey Basic Balancing Predictive Maintenance
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Contact
www.acessystems.com 1-865-671-2003 sales@acessystems.com

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