The Problem with Engine Vibrations

If you were to ask anyone in the aviation industry what can damage a plane, you’d get an entire laundry list ranging from faulty manufacturing to icing on the plane’s exterior to a bird getting sucked up into the engine. If you specifically asked an aircraft maintenance team, you’d probably get one word— vibrations. Jet engine vibrations can be extremely harmful if left unchecked. Parts that are not placed and secured in the jet aircraft engine properly can result in cracking, general metal fatigue, and engine failure.

Engine vibrations are usually caused by either rotor imbalances, worn-out parts, or both. If engine parts are improperly replaced, or if there is uneven weight distribution between moving parts, you’re almost certain to get engine vibrations. They can also be caused by damage from impact.

Test schedules are put into place and must be taken seriously. Aircraft engine manufacturers and the FAA will run tests, specify testing requirements, and set acceptable limits for engine vibration. These tests take place during routinely scheduled time frames, after a sudden impact event, or if there is an increase in levels of vibration.

Depending on the engine, vibration limits specified by the manufacturer may vary. Procedures to fix vibrations that are out of allowable limits are provided by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). These procedures, if done correctly, can help prevent whole engine change, resulting in lower costs.

The operator of the aircraft is ultimately the one responsible for ensuring aircraft safety and compliance to standards. Individual airlines may have their own maintenance team, or they can use maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) providers that specialize in maintenance operations.

MTI Instruments manufacturers tools used to measure precision balancing and vibrational analysis systems (PBS). Through technological advancements, MTI has been able to increase both precision and functionality, as well as create more compact and convenient products.


December 20, 2022
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