Experimental modal analysis is a vibration testing technique for determining the natural frequencies, mode shapes, and damping ratios of a structure. Modal testing provides structural dynamic information for �nite element model validation (correlation) and re�nement, failure investigation, vibration troubleshooting and diagnostics, and quality assurance. Some applications for modal testing include aircraft components, turbine blades, impellers, automotive structures, buildings, optics, piping, and many more structures. SimuTech performs modal tests both in its laboratory and on-site at customer facilities.
Correlation of Test & Analysis
Correlation of vibration, strain, temperature, and load measurements with �nite element simulations can validate and enhance simulation results. Finite element analysis (FEA) and physical testing are complementary techniques that both play important roles in solving engineering problems. Each technique requires different resources and provides different kinds of results. FEA requires design data such as solid models, and provides results such as expected values based on modeling assumptions. Testing requires sample hardware such as a prototype and provides speci�c results to a particular test condition. Where discrepancies exist between the analysis and test results, information from testing is used to guide analysis model re�nements such as boundary condition changes and loading conditions. The combination of �nite element analysis and modal testing are powerful tools for a variety of engineering tasks from design to root cause analysis of failures.
Strain measurements provide a means to determine the strain, stress, and load on machinery components. Strain gages may be used to measure static strain due to relatively constant loads such as pressure or thermal expansion. Strain gages may also be used to measure dynamic strain due to impact events or vibration. With adequate protection, strain gages may be used in harsh environments including elevated temperatures, high EMI, and immersion in sea water. Strain measurements are applicable to a wide variety of structures including electronics, aircraft, turbomachinery, piping, automotive components, and industrial equipment. Information from strain gage measurements is useful for validation of �nite element models (FEM), establishing more accurate operating loads, and failure investigations. SimuTech performs strain measurements both in its laboratory and on-site at customer facilities.
Rotating Telemetry is a technique for collecting data from sensors on rotating machinery components. Signals from sensors such as accelerometers, strain gages, resistance temperature detectors (RTDs), and pressure sensors are transmitted by radio telemetry or a slip ring from a rotating shaft to a stationary data acquisition system. Telemetry is often used to measure shaft torque, shaft bending strain, torsional vibration, and turbine blade vibration. Telemetry may be used in hostile environments including turbine �ow paths, immersion in water, and under centripetal acceleration up to 40,000 g’s. SimuTech performs telemetry tests both in its laboratory and on-site at customer facilities.
Vibration Diagnostics are used to identify the root cause of noise and vibration problems in machinery. Techniques such as operating de�ection shape (ODS) analysis, spectral analysis, order tracking, and joint time frequency (waterfall) analysis are used to detect abnormal vibration characteristics. These techniques are applicable to a broad range of vibration related problems such as fatigue failures, excessive noise, resonance, manufacturing process quality issues, structural vibration, abnormal wear, and �oor vibration. Knowledge gained from these vibration diagnostic techniques leads to practical solutions such as speci�cation of isolation systems, tuned mass dampers, surface damping treatments, shaft balance and alignment procedures, excitation source control, repair procedures, natural frequency detuning, and active vibration control. SimuTech performs machinery vibration diagnostics both in its laboratory and on-site at customer facilities.
Failure investigation requires a broad and comprehensive understanding of the many different failure modes that exist for any given system. Frequently, two or more modes contribute to a component failure. In addition, failure modes can be induced by proximity to other equipment or interaction with the support structure. SimuTech employs a variety of techniques including metallurgical examination, low and high cycle fatigue analysis, fracture surface analysis, operating test data, and �nite element analysis. SimuTech has extensive, �rst-hand experience in failure analysis for industrial and commercial equipment, turbo-machinery and structural components in a wide range of applications.
SimuTech Group has provided testing services to machinery manufacturers and operators for over 30 years. SimuTech Engineers have used testing and �nite element analysis techniques to successfully resolve thousands of machinery problems including high and low cycle fatigue, rotor dynamic faults, foundation issues, and acoustics in a wide variety of industries including aerospace, power generation, automotive, manufacturing, and electronics. SimuTech performs tests both in its laboratory and on-site at customer facilities across North America and around the world.
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