Root causes of several recent crack failures in turbine units are attributed to oscillation and interaction between generator of turbine unit and devices on the grid, where torsional vibration of the rotor bearing system is observed and identified as an important cause. Exploring vibrational (lateral, torsional, and axial) features in the cracked rotor system with torsional excitation (TE) present can provide a novel view in crack detection and isolation. This work presents dynamic analysis of a cracked rotor system in a steam turbine unit (a typical rotor system with multiple rotors, multiple supports, and oscillating loads), and the vibrational features of the cracked rotor system with comparisons to typical features in monitored vibration data. The results show that coupled vibration in both lateral and torsional components is an effective indicator for cracks in the presence of torsional excitation. Also, vibration characteristics evaluated in different locations of the rotor system are beneficial for fault detection and isolation.

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