Mechanical System Modeling and Analysis
The Group’s mechanical system simulation capability takes advantage of commercially-available design and analysis codes, as well as codes developed at ORNL. These codes allow us to perform detailed analyses of stress, strain, deflection, natural frequencies and mode shapes, forced response, and thermal performance of complex structures. The codes are particularly useful in our technical focus areas of equipment diagnostic testing and condition-based maintenance, rotor dynamics, and supports mechanical system design activities.
For equipment diagnostic testing, mechanical system simulation is often used as an aid for interpretation of measured signals, such as those from vibration transducers. By combining measured data and simulation results, system condition can be better estimated. Furthermore, this estimate can be used for system parameter identification or for model-based predictive maintenance, an experimental maintenance concept being investigated at ORNL. Simulation thus provides the link between measured signals and system behavior and allows quantitative estimates concerning system response to be made based on the measured data.
Detailed Finite Element Analysis (FEA) models are used by the Group during rotor dynamic analysis to predict stress, strain, and to calculate torsional and shell mode behavior that is not included in the Group’s rotor dynamic codes. This approach provides a more thorough rotor dynamic analysis that minimizes the probability of unexpected “surprises” during rotor testing. Mechanical system analysis and mechanical design may be used together for design optimization; thus, ensuring that final designs will meet or exceed their requirement specifications.