A three dimensional dynamic model describing turning operation involving whirling caused by mass imbalance is presented. Both the workpiece and tool deflections affected by nonlinear regenerative forces with instantaneous cutting speed and feed are included. The work piece is modeled as a system of three rotors; namely, unmachined, being machined and machined, connected by a flexible shaft. Special focus is given to the middle rotor where cutting forces act and the new surface is being generated. The nonlinear behavior of the system is studied using instantaneous frequency. The stable and unstable situations are illustrated in time domain as well as time-frequency domain. Models with and without whirling are considered and two sets of results are compared with the experimental results published in the literature.

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