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Technical Article
Technical
Article

The Use of Non-Intrusive Phase and Amplitude Demodulation Techniques to Identify Torsional Modes on Machinery under Constant Speed Conditions. Part I. Theory

R. Archambault International Measurement Solutions Baie d’Urfe, Quebec, Canada E-mail: rene@intlmeas.com

Summary. The presence of torsional modes that coincide with excitation frequencies on rotating machinery may impair its operation and lead to a dangerous condition. A non-intrusive method is described to identify in-situ the frequencies of the main torsional modes to validate computational models used to estimate them. The method can also be used to estimate absolute angular displacement and damping as a function of operating conditions. Part I of this article contains the theoretical background of the method. Part II describes two applications.

Turbogenerator sets are centrifugal machines commonly used in industry to generate electricity. They usually operate continuously for long periods of time and, in some cases, forced stoppage can be very costly. Because the rotating parts generally consist of long shafts, torsional resonances (usually the first three or four modes) must be avoided to increase service life and reduce the risk of catastrophic breakdown. One of the main excitation frequencies in these machines is 2xF supply (120 Hz in North America), which is caused by current reversals and induces vibration of electromagnetic origin. Moreover, the rotating magnetic fields inside the generator create tangential forces that tend to excite torsional resonances (Figure 1). It is therefore necessary to ensure that no torsional mode is present at or close to 120 Hz. Part I of this article describes a non- intrusive method that can identify the frequency and angular displacement of the torsional modes under constant speed conditions, without any significant load applied to the machine. Two applications are presented in Part II: a turbo- generator set turning at 60 Hz and a roll-drive in the dryer section of a paper machine.

Angular Vibration and Torsional Modes The driven equipment in drive mechanisms tends to lag the driving equipment due to its moment of inertia and load and torsional stiffness. The lag creates a longitudinal deformation along the line axis of the shaft (torsion), Torsion can be considered static if there are no significant load fluctuations. In addition, dynamic forces can generate

load fluctuations. In addition, dynamic forces can generate Figure 1. A Large Alternator Generates Tangential Forces
load fluctuations. In addition, dynamic forces can generate Figure 1. A Large Alternator Generates Tangential Forces

Figure 1. A Large Alternator Generates Tangential Forces Likely to Excite Torsional Modes.

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torsional deformations that depend on the torsional response of the system relative to the forcing excitations. These additional deformations add to the static component and can cause high shear stresses within the shaft. The, result is a reduction of service life and possibly early breakage of the shaft. Dangerous situations occur when a torsional natural frequency (torsional mode) is excited by one of the main excitation forces; i.e., 2xF supply (120 Hz in North America). Angular vibration consists of a dynamic angular motion that can be interpreted as a local speed fluctuation, or an angular oscillation around a fixed point on the shaft. If the angular vibration varies in amplitude and/or phase at two different locations on the shaft, there is undoubtedly torsion in a dynamic sense. Each torsional mode has its own frequency, damping, and mode shape, containing node(s) and anti-nodes (Figure 2). Note that the angular displacement due to a given mode is negligible when measured at a node. At any other location there is a maximum phase β from the equilibrium position. In order to determine experimentally the properties of torsional modes, angular vibration must be measured at two or more locations, depending on the mode shape, preferably away from a node. Angular displacement measurements and their relative phase are used to estimate dynamic stresses due to torsional vibration at a given frequency if some of the material properties of the shaft (torsional stiffness in particular) are known.

of the shaft (torsional stiffness in particular) are known. Figure 2. Each Torsional Mode Has Its
of the shaft (torsional stiffness in particular) are known. Figure 2. Each Torsional Mode Has Its

Figure 2. Each Torsional Mode Has Its Own Frequency, Mode Shape, and Damping.

Hilbert Transform and Angular Vibration The advent of digital signal processing created possibilities previously not available for extracting information from a signal. Apart from the FFT, which has been used successfully in portable data collectors, additional possibilities exist that have not yet been fully exploited. Such is the case with the Hilbert transform; it allows calculation of the imaginary part of a real time signal to define an analytic time signal (complex). The mathematical definition of the Hilbert transform used in signal processing is:

of the Hilbert transform used in signal processing is: where x(t) is a time domain function

where x(t) is a time domain function (real) and * denotes the convolution operation. An analytic time signal can be devised by constructing the imaginary part of the analytic time signal by using the Hilbert transform of its real part, thus creating a complex signal with a real and imaginary part (2). The Hilbert transform is related to the Fourier transform in that it represents the relationship between the real and imaginary parts of the Fourier transform of a one- sided signal.

parts of the Fourier transform of a one- sided signal. The analytic signal can be viewed

The analytic signal can be viewed as a rotating vector with an instantaneous amplitude, or magnitude, and an instantaneous frequency, which is defined as the derivative of instantaneous phase (Figure 3).

defined as the derivative of instantaneous phase (Figure 3). Figure 3. The Hilbert Transform Is Used

Figure 3. The Hilbert Transform Is Used to Calculate the Imaginary Part of the Real Time Signal. (It allows definition of a complex time signal, the analytic signal including magnitude, and an instantaneous phase or frequency.)

This model is used to study amplitude and phase modulated signals. Angular vibration generates pure phase modulation components on a carrier, for example, a gear-

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mesh frequency; the maximum phase deviation corresponds to the peak angular displacement of the shaft. If all the angular vibration components are taken into account, the signal becomes

components are taken into account, the signal becomes where X 0 is the amplitude of the

where X 0 is the amplitude of the unmodulated carrier, f c is the carrier frequency, and β i is the peak phase deviation corresponding to modulation frequencies f mi . The instantaneous phase of the analytic signal corresponding to equation 3 is

phase of the analytic signal corresponding to equation 3 is When differentiated, the instantaneous frequency of

When differentiated, the instantaneous frequency of the signal is

differentiated, the instantaneous frequency of the signal is After fc has been removed by demodulating the

After fc has been removed by demodulating the carrier, the resulting signal is a time waveform representing the sum of all frequency modulation components. The Fourier transform can be used on the time waveform to obtain the frequency demodulated spectrum, in which the amplitude is scaled in Hz (rms); Figure 4. The peak angular displacement in degrees can be calculated from the frequency demodulated spectrum using

be calculated from the frequency demodulated spectrum using where IF r m s i represents the

where IF rmsi represents the instantaneous frequency spectrum component in Hz (rms) and f mi represents the modulating frequency. Note that the calculation of D i is independent of the carrier frequency f c and the type of transducer used in the measurement (Figure 5).

the type of transducer used in the measurement (Figure 5). Figure 4. Both Frequency and Amplitude
the type of transducer used in the measurement (Figure 5). Figure 4. Both Frequency and Amplitude

Figure 4. Both Frequency and Amplitude of a Carrier Can Be Demodulated. Only the frequency-demodulated spectrum contains information about torsional modes and other angular vibration components.

torsional modes and other angular vibration components. Figure 5. A Synchronous Carrier Signal Can Be Generated

Figure 5. A Synchronous Carrier Signal Can Be Generated from a Gear Wheel and a Noncontact Probe.

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Filtering, Time Windows, and Their Effects on Accuracy Before phase and amplitude demodulation are carried out, it is important to apply a digital filter around the gear-mesh frequency to remove unwanted components. The filter parameters should generate a bandwidth that includes at least one pair of sidebands of the highest modulating frequency and a shape with steep slopes and large dynamic range (>92 dB). In digital signal processing, time weighting functions sometimes play a crucial role in accuracy. Leakage in the frequency domain occurs due to the time block limitation and is dependent on the time weighting used. Various time- weighting functions have advantages and limitations. It is sometimes essential to choose one over another for a specific application. Figure 6 and Table 1 show the characteristics of the Hanning, flat top (two-term window — a four-term window would have a much better dynamic range but at the expense of resolution) and the Blackman- Harris window in terms of ripple, noise bandwidth, highest side lobe, side-lobe fall-off, and effective dynamic range. When it is desired to retrieve very weak components in the spectrum — such as torsional modes with very small excitations — a window with a large dynamic range, such as the Blackman-Harris window, provides better results. Note that to resolve two frequency components, a minimum resolution of 4Δf is required for the Hanning window; 6Δf is needed for the Blackman-Harris, the price for the extra dynamic range.

the Blackman-Harris, the price for the extra dynamic range. Figure 6. Worst Case Leakage (pure component

Figure 6. Worst Case Leakage (pure component between two lines) due to Flat-Top (2 terms), Hanning, and Blackman-Harris (4 terms) Windows (pure tone at 29.525 Hz, sampling frequency = 512 Hz, # samples = 10,240, # lines = 3,200, spacing between lines = 0.05 Hz).

= 10,240, # lines = 3,200, spacing between lines = 0.05 Hz). Table 1. Frequency Domain

Table 1. Frequency Domain Characteristics of Various Time-Weighting Functions 2 .

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