Rotating machinery components like shafts subjected to continuous fluctuating loads are prone to fatigue cracks. Fatigue cracks are severe threat to the integrity of rotating machinery. Therefore it is indispensable for early diagnostics of fatigue cracks in shaft to avoid catastrophic failures. From the literature, it is evident that the spectral kurtosis (SK) and fast kurtogram were used to detect the faults in bearings and gears. The present study illustrates the use of SK and fast kurtogram for early fatigue crack detection in the shaft using vibration data. To perform this study, experiments are conducted on a rotor test rig which is designed and developed according to the function specification proposed by ASTM E468-11 standard. Fatigue crack is developed, on three shaft specimens, each seeded with the same circumferential V-Notch configuration, by continuous application of stochastic loads on the shaft using electrodynamic shaker in addition to the unbalance forces that arise in normal operating conditions. Vibration data is acquired from various locations of the rotor, using different sensors like miniature accelerometers, laser vibrometer and wireless telemetry strain gauge, till the shaft specimen develops fatigue crack. The analysis results show that the combination of SK and fast kurtogram is an effective signal processing technique for detecting the fatigue crack in the shaft.

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