AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

Rotor Dynamics Use for Turbomachinery Engineers

A rotor is the rotating part of a machine, and it is often used in motors to generate electricity or thrust. As such, they frequently operate at high speeds and within a wide speed range. Rotor dynamics is the branch of engineering that studies the lateral and torsional vibration of rotating shafts. The main purpose of these studies is to predict rotor vibrations and contain them within acceptable limits to keep machinery in prime working condition. To uphold strict operational reliability standards, every element of rotor design should be based on an accurate rotor dynamics prediction. If you are interested in learning more about rotor dynamics and their use in turbomachinery, read on as we discuss some of the key things that make it such an essential form of study

Rotor dynamics analyses are used by engineers to ensure the safe, and efficient design and use of rotors. As such, they should accomplish several important goals. Firstly, they should predict the critical speed at which the vibration due to rotor unbalance becomes too severe and must be avoided. This data can then be used to suggest modifications that would allow designers to increase a machine’s critical speeds. Rotor dynamics analyses should also predict natural frequencies of torsional vibration, as well as amplitudes of synchronous vibration caused by rotor unbalance. Furthermore, the analyses should predict dynamic instability, and suggest design modifications to suppress it. Lastly, they should recommend balanced correction masses and locations from measured vibration data.

Though real-world rotor dynamics systems are usually too complex for existing models to solve, simplified 2D and 3D models are often used to find numerical solutions, as they provide decent data for engineers to go on. The Jeffcot rotor is one example of a simplified model that is commonly used for these purposes. However, these numerical solutions do not provide the kind of detailed insight that can be found through step-by-step derivation of an analytical solution. Derivations such as this can determine how the different system response characteristics are interconnected in the final design and therefore provide more accurate data than 2D or 3D models alone. For this purpose, software tools can be used, such as AxSTREAM RotorDynamics™, and others. The software is capable of comprehensive rotor modeling, including shaft design, mass-inertia elements, bearings and supports, couplings, as well as forces and accelerations affecting the level of stress on a rotor and its prestress conditions.

In conclusion, rotor dynamics analyses are crucial tasks for engineers working with rotating machinery. They provide valuable information for preventing the risk of wear and malfunction from vibration as a result of unbalance and other design factors. Though models exist that are standardly used to simplify the process, step-by-step derivation provides the most accurate insight into a mechanism’s rotor dynamics.

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April 18, 2022

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