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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 10 (2004), Issue 2, Pages 121-133

Crack Detectability in Vertical Axis Cooling Pumps During Operation

1Dipartimento di Meccanica, Politecnico di Milano, Via La Masa 34, Milano I-20158, Italy
2Dep. Analyses mécaniques et acoustiques, EDF, 1 avenue du Général de Gaulle, Clamart, F-92141, France

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The problem which is faced in this article is the analysis of the effects of a transverse propagating crack on the vibrational behavior of a vertical axis cooling pump. The crack is assumed to develop in a section between the impeller and a seal, preventing the hot water to flow upwards along the rotor shaft. The pressurized seal is fed with an injection of cold water, and crack initiation may be due to a thermal striping phenomenon. Afterwards, crack growth could be driven by a combination of thermal and mechanical loads, causing alternate cyclic stress in the shaft. Cracking instances of this type have been reported worldwide in several machines of similar design. In this article, the fact is emphasized that the crack behavior is likely to be influenced by the thermal field and by the water pressure in the cracked area. A dynamical lineshaft model, integrated by an original representation of the crack, has been developed to investigate the possible vibratory symptoms related to a crack propagation. The vibrations are generally measured in correspondence of a rigid coupling which connects the motor shaft to the pump shaft, in a position which is rather far away from the crack. 1 × rev., 2 × rev., and 3 × rev. vibration components, which are generally displayed by the machine condition monitoring system and are the most significative symptoms of the presence of a transverse crack in a rotating shaft, are calculated.