Shaft crack monitoring via torsional vibration analysis; Part 1 - Laboratory tests

Dennis J. Bieryla, Martin W. Trethewey, Clifford J. Lissenden, Mitchell S. Lebold, Kenneth P. Maynard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Torsional vibration signature analysis has shown the potential to detect shaft cracks during normal machinery operations of rotating equipment. The method tracks characteristic changes in the natural torsional vibration frequencies that are associated with shaft crack propagation. The method is generally applicable to many types of rotating equipment. A laboratory scale rotor test bed was developed to investigate shaft cracking detection techniques under controlled conditions. A sample shaft was seeded with a semi-elliptical surface crack, which was propagated in three point bending. The fatigue crack was incrementally grown in nine steps, with depths ranging from approximately 0 - 60% of the shaft diameter. After the crack was grown to each pre-defined depth, the shaft was installed in the rotor test bed and the changes in shaft torsional vibration features observed. The first torsional natural frequency is shown to be sensitive to the shaft crack depth, which for the crack depths tested produced a 2 Hz frequency drop. The relationship between crack depth and torsional natural frequency is nonlinear. The test data show that changes in the torsional shaft frequency in the range of 0.1 to 0.2 Hz. can be detected by a visual inspection. This study points to the potential of using online torsional signature analysis as a diagnostic for shaft crack monitoring in rotating equipment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIMAC-XXIII
Subtitle of host publicationConference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics - Structural Health Monitoring
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Event23rd Conference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics 2005, IMAC-XXIII - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Jan 31 2005Feb 3 2005

Publication series

NameConference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series
ISSN (Print)2191-5644
ISSN (Electronic)2191-5652


Other23rd Conference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics 2005, IMAC-XXIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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