How To Analyze Noise & Vibration In Rotating Machines

This article will look at the basic steps needed to measure noise & vibration in rotating machines. We won’t look in great detail at some of the techniques involved – we deal with these elsewhere on the blog. This material is suitable for a newcomer to the field who understands the basic concepts of noise & vibration analysis but has not dealt with rotating machinery before.


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Read more about the article Analysis of Dynamic Engine Vibration – Angular Vibration in High Performance Engines
titanium and steel gears and cogwheels

Analysis of Dynamic Engine Vibration – Angular Vibration in High Performance Engines

The analysis of dynamic engine vibration and the accurate measurement of angular vibration is a non-trivial task, as a more in-depth analysis of boundary conditions reveals. Tools for engine vibration…

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Read more about the article Analysis of Airflow Instabilities in HVAC units
Vehicle AC

Analysis of Airflow Instabilities in HVAC units

HVAC (Heat Ventilation Air Conditioning) units are devices used in various applications, such as cars, buildings, aircraft etc. They facilitate the transport and conditioning (heating, cooling, changing of humidity) of…

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What is Synchronous (Angular) Sampling?

The term synchronous data is usually applied to vibration or acoustic data that is captured from an item of rotating equipment at regularly spaced angle intervals as distinct from regularly spaced time intervals. The rotating part could be an engine, a gear wheel, a drive shaft, a turbine rotor, a propeller, a turbocharger or any other type of rotary mechanical device. Typically these items are subjected to out-of-balance forces that cause them to vibrate at frequencies that are multiples of the fundamental (once per revolution) rotation speed frequency. (more…)

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How To Analyze & Measure Torsional Vibration

Torsional Vibration MeasurementKnowing how to measure torsional vibration is of key importance in the area of vehicle development and refinement. The main contributory source is the engine where periodically occurring combustion cycles cause variation in the crankshaft rotary vibration. This vibration is transmitted to and modified further by other components in the powertrain such as the gearbox and by other equipment driven off the drive belt or chain. Additional torsional vibrations are also likely to appear downstream at the drive shafts and wheels.


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Vibration Monitoring Phase Measurement And The Tacho Signal

Any vibration signal may be analyzed into amplitude and phase as a function of frequency. The phase represents fifty percent of the information so it is most important to measure phase for vibration monitoring. Most vibrations on a rotating machine are related to the rotational speed so it is clearly important to have a measure of the speed, either directly or as a once per revolution tacho pulse. A question sometimes arises as to whether a once per revolution tacho reference signal is needed to measure phase. Is it possible to get phase if we only have a speed signal? This note gives some insight into those questions.

Actually the question that should be asked is – “Can we measure a meaningful phase, for use in vibration monitoring, if we only have a speed signal as well as the vibration signals?”


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Orders v Time – Comparing Overall Levels

By combining a speed signal with a data signal and using the Short Time FFT algorithm (Hopping FFT), it is possible to extract order data directly as a function of time (Orders from Hopping FFT) rather than as a function of speed (Waterfall). This is very useful when analyzing a complete operational cycle which includes run ups, rundowns and periods at operational speeds.


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Measuring Torsional Crank Shaft Jitter

Using Prosig’s P8000 series data acquisition system with DATS signal analysis software, torsional analysis (crank shaft jitter) was performed on an automotive engine attached to an engine dynamometer. The significance of this is that only one tachometer channel was required to identify crank jitter.


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Order Cuts And Overall Level

Order cuts are taken from a set of FFTs, each one at a different rpm. The rms level is then found as the Square root of the Sum of the squares of each of the FFT values. Mathematically, if x_{ks} is the modulus (magnitude) of the k^{th} value of the FFT at speed s for k = 1,\dots,N-1 then the rms value at that speed is given by

rms_s = \sqrt{\sum_{k=0}^{N-1}{x_{ks} ^2}}

This takes into account the entire energy at that speed both the order and the non order components, including any noise.


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Measuring Exhaust Noise Using A P8000 System

The following note describes measuring exhaust noise using a Prosig P8000/DATS system for the refinement of an automotive muffler design for a major after-market exhaust manufacturer in Europe. The particular vehicle under test was required by local legislation to have an overall radiated noise level of less than 70 dB. When tested, the vehicle was found to be producing 71.8 dB of radiated noise. The design of the exhaust system clearly needed to be reviewed and modified. (more…)

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Torsional Vibration, Tacho Pulses And Aliasing

With shafts, gears and the like, the general method of determining the rotational speed is to use some form of tachometer or shaft encoder. These give out a pulse at regular angular intervals. It we have N pulses per rev then obviously we have a pulse every (360/N) degrees. Determining the speed is nominally very simple: just measure the time between successive pulses. If this period is Tk seconds and the angle travelled is (360/ N) degrees then the rotational speed is simply estimated by 360/(N*Tk) degrees/second or 60/(N*Tk) rpm.


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Analyzing Shaft Twist And Repairing Damaged Tachos

This post discusses analyzing shaft twist and at the same time handling the less than perfect data that we have all come across.

A shaft has been instrumented with two shaft encoders, one at each end. Each shaft encoder gives out a once/rev pulse and a 720 pulses/rev signal. Each signal was digitised at 500,000 samples/second. The objective is to measure the twist in the shaft and analyze into orders. The test stand was already equipped with a data acquisition system so a Prosig acquisition system was not required. Instead it was decided that the data captured by the resident system would be imported into the DATS software. The only format available from the customer system was ‘comma separated variables’ or CSV. This is not ideal as it is an ASCII based format and therefore creates very large files.


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A Simple Automotive Noise Test

In a recent article we described how the Prosig P8000 hardware and DATS software had been used to help Dalmeny Racing diagnose a problem with an exhaust bracket on their Formula Ford racing car. Whilst the car was instrumented for structural tests on the exhaust the opportunity was taken to carry out a simple automotive noise test. It was felt that these would provide some useful “real world” data as well as maybe providing some extra information regarding the exhaust bracket failure. After analysing and animating the hammer data it became clear that the engine runup data wouldn’t be needed. However, it was decided that some analysis should be carried out to see if the noise and vibration data backed up the conclusions of the other tests.


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Audio Equalisation Filter & Parametric Filtering

When working with audio signals a common requirement is to be able to equalise, cut or boost various frequency bands. A large number of hardware devices on the market provide this capability. The key aspect is that such filters are able to control bandwidth, centre frequency and gain separately. There are broadly two classes of filter used, a “shelving” filter and an “equalising “filter (also known as a “peak” filter). A shelving filter is akin to low pass and high pass filters. An equalising filter is like a bandpass or band reject filter.


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Measuring Torsional Twist & Vibration Along a Shaft or Through a Geartrain

The measurement of torsional twist, or the twist angle, between two points along a shaft or through a gear train may be derived from a pair of tacho signals, one at each end of the shaft. Typically the tacho signals would be derived from gear teeth giving a known number of pulses/revolution. For example one end of a shaft could have a gear wheel with say 60 teeth giving 60 pulses/revolutions when measured with say an inductive or eddy current probe. (more…)

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Order Tracking, Frequency and Hertz

In this article, we look at the relationships between frequency, the unit Hertz and order tracking. The most common form of digitising data is to use a regular time-based method. Data is sampled at a constant rate specified as a number of samples/second. The Nyquist frequency, fN, is defined such that fN = SampleRate/2. As discussed elsewhere, Shannon’s Sampling Theorem tells us that if the signal we are sampling is band limited so that all the information is at frequencies less than fN then we are alias free and have a valid digitised signal. Furthermore, the theorem assures us that we have all the available information on the signal.


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