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Balancing facilities at TWI

Mass unbalance of rotating machinery produces excessive vibrations into the system leading to mechanical failures and a shortened life span. Additional negative effects include increased forces in bearings, higher noise levels and greater energy consumption.

At TWI, an innovative solution for balancing lightweight rotating machinery is currently being offered. This application requires improved accuracy to quantify the unbalance alongside high precision techniques to correct the unbalance.

To overcome these challenges, TWI uses high-speed laser and optical sensors, combined with the necessary acceleration, velocity and/or displacement sensors, for detecting the unbalance. The correction techniques for lightweight rotating machinery entail the addition or removal of material using innovative 3D printer tools for plastic and metals.

A certificate in line with the ISO 1940 standard is provided to clients based on the appropriate balance quality grade. The typical balance quality grades against which balancing takes place for this application, correspond to G0.4, G1 and G2.5. However, the balancing technology is suitable for a wide range of applications, including medium and heavyweight machinery.

Our new testing facilities offer:

  • A brand new test rig compliant with health and safety requirements
  • An adjustable mounting mechanisms to account for any type of impellers
  • A high speed rotation rig up to 30,000 RPM using rotation shaft or wind tunnel
  • Fully automated test procedures and software tools for quantifying unbalance
  • An automated correction solution tailored to specific needs


(Main image shows lightweight impellers)

Avatar Sofia Sampethai Project Leader - Condition and Structural Health Monitoring

Sofia is a Project Leader at TWI in the Condition and Structural Health Monitoring section. She is a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the Welding Institute. She has studied Chemical Engineering and her MSc was carried out at ETH Zurich in the department of Process Engineering. Sofia manages funded collaborative projects, including Innovate UK, FP7 and H2020, and the majority of them are in the areas of condition monitoring, sensor development targeting composites failure, and integrity monitoring for casings used in oil and gas industry. She has also been involved in proposal writing for European and national funded projects, and in developing partnerships within industry. Sofia’s work is focused on the research and development of innovative solutions in the area of condition and structural health monitoring.

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