In Engineering, especially in the field of mechanics you will always come across the word balancing. It’s a simple word but in engineering it is an art that every engineer needs to master. There basically two types of balancing states:
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- Static Balance which refers to the ability of a stationary object to remain balanced relative to the position of other moving parts around it. This usually happens when the center of gravity is on the axis of rotation.
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- Dynamic balance is obtained by an objects ability to retain its balance while in motion or switching between positions. Dynamic Balance which explains how an object can move from rest to occupy another position when force is exerted to it. In physics, dynamic balance is best explained by Newton’s third law of motion which says for every amount of force that is applied to an object there is an equal but opposite force exerted. Dynamic balancing makes up for the friction that these equalizing forces create. A rotating mass is considered to be perfectly balanced it does not vibrate. For the conditions of dynamic balance to be met, the static dynamic state conditions need to be met first.
Balancing can therefore be described as the process of modifying or designing a machine in which unbalanced forces are minimal. The process should improve the mass distribution of that body so that it rotates in its bearings and not be affected by centrifugal forces.
In engineering we talk about mass balancing as a process necessary for quite operation of rotating and reciprocating machines. Engineers can ensure that the machines can operate at high speeds for longer without malfunctioning.
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Balancing is important in engineering because:
- We can ensure that the system’s center of gravity remains stationery during the rotation of the crank shaft.
- To ensure that the couples that are involved in the speeding up of the different parts exert enough force to keep each other balanced.
Machines with rotating parts need to be continuously balanced to:
- Increase the operation quality
- Reduce vibration caused by friction
- Reduce engine noise
- Reduce stresses caused by fatigue stresses
- Increase the life of bearings
- Minimize the loss of power
- Improve the consumption of fuel or oil
Methods of Balancing
Non-Rotating: – This is the simplest form of static balancing that involves a rotor mounted with its axis on a horizontal plane. The rotor is allowed to pivot on its shaft axis. If there are deviations of the center mass the rotor will pivot. To correct this weight can be added or removes from the rotor until there is no longer any pivoting.
Rotating: – An electronic balancing machine is usually used to achieve dynamic balancing. This machine will have a horizontal arbor that can measure the amount of imbalance and its location across two axially separated planes. Basically, the correction are made by adjusting of the distribution of the entire mass of the rotor and shifting it from an unbalanced state to a balanced state around the center of rotation.
Proper Balancing is important to get engines, fans and rotating components within engines working for longer.