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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 10 (2004), Issue 4, Pages 253-263

Transverse Crack Modeling and Validation in Rotor Systems Including Thermal Effects

1Dipartimento di Meccanica, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy
2Recherche et Développement - Dép. Acoustique et Mécanique Vibratoire, EDF - Electricité de France, Clamart, France
3Dipartimento di Meccanica, Politecnico di Milano, Campus Bovisa, Via la Masa, 34, Milano I-20158, Italy

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.


In this article, a model is described that allows one to simulate the static behavior of a transversal crack in a horizontal rotor, under the action of the weight and other possible static loads and the dynamical behavior of the rotating cracked shaft. The crack “breaths,” i.e., the mechanism of opening and closing of the crack, is ruled by the stress acting on the cracked section due to the external loads; in a rotor the stress is time-depending with a period equal to the period of rotation, thus the crack “periodically breaths.” An original simplified model is described that allows cracks of different shape to be modeled and thermal stresses to be taken into account, since they may influence the opening and closing mechanism. The proposed method has been validated using two criteria. Firstly, the crack “breathing” mechanism, simulated with the model, has been compared with the results obtained by a nonlinear 3-D FEM calculation and a good agreement in the results has been observed. Secondly, the proposed model allows the development of the equivalent cracked beam. The results of this model are compared with those obtained by the above-mentioned 3-D FEM. There is a good agreement in the results, of this case as well.

Therefore, the proposed crack model and equivalent beam model can be inserted in the finite beam element model used for the rotor dynamical behavior simulation—the obtained equations have time-depending coefficients, but they can be integrated in the frequency domain by using the harmonic balance method. The model is suitable for finite beam elements with six degrees of freedom per node, in order to account also for torsion vibrations and coupling between torsion and flexural vibrations.