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# DoctorKnow Application Paper

Title:
Source/Author:Trish Whaley, Nelson Baxter - Abm Technical Services
Product:
Corrective
Technology: Corrective
Classification:

BALANCING TECHNIQUES
CASE HISTORIES
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
BY
NELSON L. BAXTER
ABM TECHNICAL SERVICES

## ABSTRACT: The purposes of this paper are:

1: To introduce the reader to various methods of balancing rotating
equipment.
2: To present case histories, which illustrate some of the inherent
complicating factors which are experienced in the field?
3: Discuss several situations where the problem might appear as
unbalance, but is not.
BALANCING METHODS:
Prior to getting into case histories, the following balancing methods will be
discussed in this paper:
1: SINGLE PLANE VECTOR METHOD
2: COMPUTER SOLUTIONS TO BALANCING
3:STATIC
COUPLE
APPROACH
TO
BALANCING
SYMMETRIC ROTORS.
4: FOUR RUN NO PHASE BALANCING

FLEXIBLE

## SINGLE PLANE VECTOR METHOD

The vector method of balancing is the classical approach to this subject. It
is very reliable and gives the user an appreciation of how the balancing
process works.

## The figure to the left shows a vector solution to a balance problem on an ID

Fan. The original vector is drawn, a trial weight is added, then the effect of
the trial weight is displayed. It can visually be seen that to drive the solution
to zero, that the trial weight needs to be rotated counter clockwise
approximately 30 degrees and that more weight needs to be added.
The vector solution is a very good learning tool in that the real essence of
balancing is quickly perceived by the user. This method is also useful to
know in that with only a pencil and piece of paper, it can be performed.
COMPUTER BASED SOLUTIONS:
Computers are readily available in the work place. They are therefore
accessible for the solution of balancing problems. The balancing procedure
is the same, in that trial weights need to be added to each plane and the
effects of the trial weights on each of the response points must be
measured and recorded. The computer then solves the balance problem by
using the measured effects, which are also called influence coefficients in a
matrix solution routine.
Advantages of utilizing a computer program to solve balance problems:
1: Computers perform the matrix math accurately.
2: A computer program can store or print out the influence coefficients for
use in future balance work.

## 3: Beyond one or two planes, the graphical method is too complicated, so a

computer solution is generally required.
Disadvantages of computer based balancing are:
1: It separates the user from the actual balance process.
2: If there are minimal cross effects, some programs blow up and give
ridiculous
solutions.
The following are computer solutions to single and a dual plane balancing
problems.

Note that the process of taking initial readings, adding trial weights and then
retaking the data to determine the influence coefficients is the same in each
case.
STATIC COUPLE BALANCING:
Static Couple Balancing is a method which can either be performed
graphically or on the computer. This procedure is very important when
flexible symmetric rotors are being balanced, in that it can reduce the
number of shots that need to be installed. It is particularly applicable to
balancing large steam turbines. The figure below shows the unbalance
vectors from two rotors, which operate above their first critical.

The polar plot on the left shows that the phase angles for the two bearings
are nearly in phase with one another. This indicates that equal amounts of
weight should be added on each end at exactly the same angular location.
By adding a trial weight in each end in this manner, the solution weights can
be added in the second run, rather than on the third run, had a standard
dual plane approach would have been used.
The polar plot to the right shows the unbalance vectors from a rotor
operating near its second bending mode. This is typical for a low pressure
rotor on a steam turbine. As can be seen, the thing to do is to add equal
amounts of weight 180 degrees apart on opposite ends of the rotor. As
stated above, once this is performed with a trial weight, the solution weights
can be added on the second run.
The above method works well with flexible rotors, which operated near their
bending modes. It also helps if the rotor and bearing stifnesses are
symmetrical. Saving a balance shot on a large turbine can represent tens or
hundreds of thousands of dollars, so the above approach is therefore often
utilized by the utility industry.
FOUR RUN NO PHASE BALANCING:
This method is a very old technique, but is being mentioned because
sometimes it is the only way out of a bad situation. It is useful when:
1:It is not possible to get a once per revolution tach pulse or view the rotor
with a strobe.

2: Your photocell battery goes down or the unit doesn't work for some
reason.
3: Your analyzer or balancing instrument fails and all you have is a hand
held unit.
1: It requires 4 runs
2: At some point on one of the runs, the trial weight will end up being either
right on the heavy spot or close to it. This can result in high levels of
vibration and possibly driving the system nonlinear. Obviously, if the user
was not in a bind, this approach would not be used, but it is at least a way
out, when things get real tough.
THE FOLLOWING ARE THE REQUIRED STEPS FOR THE FOUR RUN
METHOD

THE FIGURE BELOW SHOWS THE FINAL SOLUTION FOR A 4 RUN NO PHASE

BALANCE EXAMPLE

The above graphical solution shows that there is a net effect of 1 Mil, as
measured from the center of the original circle to the intersection point of
the three trial weight circles. Since the original amplitude without the trial
weight was three mils, this means that the solution weight required would
be three times the trial weight.
When the effect vector is projected to the edge of the original circle, it
intersects the original circle at approximately 10 degrees clockwise from the
240 degree location. That is the location where the solution weight needs to
be installed.
The final solution is therefore to install 3 times the trial weight at the 250
degree location.
BALANCING CASE HISTORIES

THERMAL VECTOR IN MOTOR The figure to the left shows the presence
of a thermal vector on a large 4000 BP motor. This problem occurred
following an overhaul to the motor. Initially upon startup, the motor would
run smoothly. However, when load was applied, the vibration would
increase and the bearings would be destroyed. The motor was returned to
the shop for balancing and finally was sent back to the manufacturer for
high speed balancing. In each case, when the motor was returned and put
under load, the vibration would return and the bearings would be destroyed.
Proximity probes were installed on the motor and the vibration level was
measured throughout the load range, with the results depicted on the polar
diagram above. The solution was to install a compromise balance shot to
offset the thermal vector. The after balance shot thermal vector is illustrated
on the polar plot. The root cause of the problem was found to be shorted
laminations, which were the result of the motor repair shop dropping the
rotor.

## COMPRESSOR WITH UNBALANCE IN COUPLING.

Following an overhaul, the vibration on the proximity probes on a 7000 Hp
compressor read high on one end. The compressor had been balanced and
there was no evidence of abnormal vibration as the unit passed through its
critical speed. The vibration simply increased as the speed increased. The
phase angle did not shift. As is shown in the lot above, this can be a sign of

## unbalance in the coupling. The addition of 23.7 grams in the coupling

reduced the level from 3.8 mils to .6 mils. Note !- Balancing in the coupling
should not be used if the rotor is flexible and there is significant response as
it passes through its critical.

## EFFECT OF EXCESS KEY ON MOTOR VIBRATTON LEVEL,

A motor on a condensate booster pump at a nuclear power plant had been
installed after an overhaul. The level was .14 in/sec of running speed
vibration. It was noted that excess key was present. A calculation was
made and it was determined that the extra key was twice the ISO limit for
residual unbalance. A step key was installed and the level dropped to .07
IPS.

## CROSS EFFECT FROM FAN CAUSING HIGH MOTOR VIBRATION

A service technician from a motor repair shop had been working for several
days trying to balance a motor which was being installed by his company.
The figure to the left shows that there were 2.3 mils of vibration present at
the running speed of 1800 RPM. The plant demanded that the levels be

less than 1 mil. The multiple balance attempts in the motor were all
unsuccessful. An analysis of the situation indicate t at t e fan was the
source of the vibration. The fact that the motor balance attempts were
unsuccessful, combined with the fan phase angles leading the motor angles
led to this conclusion. The addition of balance weight to the fan reduced
both the fan and the motor levels.
Note !- on large fans where the motors are mounted on a common
pedestal, it is not uncommon for the motor vibration to exceed that of the
fan even thou h the fan is the source.

A BALANCER'S NIGHTMARE
The situation in the figure to the left is truly a balancing person's vision of a
nightmare. The machine train is a motor generator set on a dragline. There
are six rotors solidly coupled sharing seven bearings, all of which are sitting
on a metal deck. In this case to complicate factors even more, a structural
resonance was found to be present near the operating speed of the MG set.
Balance weight was added to the plane next to the bearing with the highest
vibration. Levels went down in the horizontal direction, but up in the vertical
direction. The first two generator units were uncoupled from the train in
hopes of narrowing down the problem. Even though they were uncoupled,
their levels were still very high. The problem was found to be unbalance in
the motor combined with a structural resonance.

## Due to their structural characteristics, vibration levels on vertical pumps are

often higher than what is considered acceptable on horizontal units. The
installation of a balance plate on the top of the motor will often provide a
means to lower the vibration levels. Running speed vibration can often be
significantly reduced by trim balancing in the balance plate.

## MID SPAN BALANCE SHOT REQUIRED TO REDUCE TURBINE

VIBRATION
The high pressure rotors in large steam turbines often operate above their

first critical speed. In addition, the steam temperature at the center of the
rotor is 1000 degrees F. After a number of years, these rotors will become
bowed a few thousanths of an inch. The phase angles from end to end are
in phase and the problem looks like a standard static unbalance where
equal amounts of weight need to be added in each end. However, when the
static shot is installed, their is almost no effect. What is required is to install
a shot at the middle of the rotor.

## STATIC SHOT REQUIRED IN A LARGE GENERATOR ROTOR. Large

generator rotors often run near their third critical speed. The location of the
unbalance is usually near the retaining rings on the end of the rotors. This
can result in the need to add a static pair at the end planes. The example to
the left is an actual case of a balance shot installed in a 650
Megawatt generator rotor and the final results.

## LOW PRESSURE TURBINE ROTOR REQUIRES COUPLE BALANCE

SHOT.
If there was ever a case where a rotor would require a couple shot, then low
pressure rotors on large steam turbines would be it. Low pressure turbine
rotors are symmetrical, they usually operate near their second critical and
the last stage blades where erosion occurs are located near the end planes.
They are therefore the ideal candidate for the installation of couple shots.
The figure to the left shows actual data from balancing an LP rotor on a
large turbine generator.

## COUPLING SHOT REQUIRED IN TURBINE

Sometimes a situation which appears to require a set of static couple shots
in two or more rotors can be solved by a single shot in a coupling. At first
glance, the left rotor in the figure on the left might appear to need a couple
shot because its phase angles are out of phase. In addition, the right rotor
might appear to need a static shot. Further analysis would however show
that the installation of a single shot in the coupling might solve the problem.
This is often the case in large steam turbines. On some units it is is possible
to to affect the entire train of up to five rotors by adding a weight in one of
the couplings.

## COOOLING TOWER BALANCING

Balancing of low speed cooling tower fans is another example of where
Synchronous Time
Averaging can be used. Sometimes several tower fans will be in operation
at a time, so synch time averaging can eliminate the cross effects from the
other cells.

## FOUR RUN NO PHASE BALANCING

This type of balancing can be utilized when it is not possible to obtain a
phase angle. In the figure to the left, the motor was enclosed so that there

was no part of the shaft visible for a phase reference. The fan was in the
roof, so it was also very hard to obtain phase measurements from it. The
four run no phase method was therefore used to solve the problem.

The figure on the left shows the circle from the original run, along with the
three circles from the three trial runs. The distance from the center of the
original circle to the intersection of the three trial circles represents the
effect of the trial weight. The ratio of the original amplitude to the effect
times the trial weight gives the amount of solution weight. The projection of
that effect to the edge of the original circle shows where the final weight
should be located.

## PROBLEMS WHICH APPEAR AS UNBALANCE BUT

ARE NOT
There are many things which appear as unbalance; however, attempts to
balance out the problems will prove impractical. The following are a series
of problems, which fall into this category.

Getting good data for use in the balancing process is often challenging. The
most difficult part of the process is often to obtain a reliable once per
revolution pulse. The following are some of the potential problems which
can occur in regards to getting a good tach pulse.

Note !- On the market are now available phase locked loop strobe lights
which fire off of a filtered peak from the accelerometer which can overcome
some of the problems associated with normal tach pulse devices.