Prevention of Torsional Vibration Problems in Reciprocating Machinery

Paper No. 97

Prevention of Torsional Vibration Problems in Reciprocating Machinery
Proceedings of the 38th Turbomachinery Symposium, 2009. Troy Feese, P.E. and Charles Hill

Torsional vibration problems continue to occur in reciprocating engine and compressor installations. This is due in part to the fact that reciprocating equipment can produce significantly more torsional excitation than rotating machinery such as turbines, centrifugal compressors, and centrifugal pumps. The purpose of this tutorial is to raise awareness of torsional vibration problems that can occur in reciprocating equipment, and to give guidelines based on experience with actual systems to avoid these problems in the future. A list of recommendations is provided to help achieve maximum reliability.

Case histories are presented where failures were linked to torsional vibration. The final solutions are given for these problems. Some of these solutions were based on practical considerations that could be retrofitted in the field. Of particular interest are the failures that would not have been predicted if only the “ideal” operating condition was analyzed. The results of these investigations emphasize the need for comprehensive torsional analyses in the design stage of critical systems.

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