Good vibrations – Bad vibrations – Back to Balance

Hi all,

Years spent operating and maintaining marine gas turbines on ships have left me very sensitive to the issue of bad vibrations. The salt-laden humid sea air entering the compressor section of the marine gas turbines leave salt deposits on the blades. If not attended to regularly, the deposits will tend to foul the air flow and lead to something known as “Compressor surge”, that leads to air flow becoming disturbed and oscillating from and to the turbine end. This surge can cause catastrophic failure of the turbine as a whole, due to the sporadic and violent directional changes in axial loading on the bearings.

Taking another type of equipment this time; High speed exhaust blowers connected to automobile paintshops tend to collect paint sludge and vapour condensation on the blades over time. This causes imbalance to the rotor and leads to bad vibrations. If not corrected in time, premature bearing failure and catastrophic damage to the equipment can occur.

I came about a well written article in the recent edition of Plant Services e magazine. The link to the article is given below.

Tactics and Practices: Back to balance.

Please read and be enlightened.

Condition Based Maintenance or Predictive Maintenance practices for critical equipment can help the maintenance personnel to lesser job stress and higher labour productivity.