March 2017

Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment

Vibration studies offer valuable lessons for correcting problematic operations

All plants have a vibration monitoring program for rotating equipment. Portable instruments measure vibration at the bearing housing of machines at horizontal (x), vertical (y) and axial (z) directions. The frequency spectrum helps diagnose the causes of vibration.

Tharakan, J., Suncor Energy Inc.

All plants have a vibration monitoring program for rotating equipment. Portable instruments measure vibration at the bearing housing of machines at horizontal (x), vertical (y) and axial (z) directions. The frequency spectrum helps diagnose the causes of vibration. Imbalance (i.e., heavy spots) is believed to amplify the vibration every time the heavy spot passes the vibration probe held in the radial direction. Imbalance creates a predominant radial vibration at a frequency of 1 × rpm of the machine. Likewise, if flow-induced vibration is due to a shock or pressure pulse created when flow hits the impeller/rotor, then the predominant vibration frequency will be equal to the number of vanes

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