[VRK Project]

A   [Simple] Virtual Rotor Kit


Develop  a  costless computational  application to emulate  experiments in a rotor test rig


The Virtual Rotor Kit (VRK) Project is a computational tool designed to emulate tests carried out in a rotor test rig or rotor kit. It is being developed by a team led by Dr. Luis Medina at the Universidad Austral de Chile, along with Dr. Euro Casanova from the Universidad del Bío-Bío in Concepción, Chile and Dr. Carmen Müller-Karger from Florida International University. Powered by PyChrono, a Python library that wraps a Project Chrono library, the VRK Project aims to provide a stand-alone solution to help engineering students, technicians, and engineers better understand vibration-related issues in rotating machines and validate techniques to mitigate the effects of rotor vibration causes.

While the VRK Project does not seek to replace practical experience at a real rotating machinery test facility, it aims to complement and enhance your understanding of rotordynamic phenomena such as rotor unbalancing, resonant operation, and rotor-bearing-support interactions. A beta demo version of the application is currently available for interested users to evaluate and provide feedback to help improve the feasibility of the VRK Project.

So if you're interested in gaining valuable insights into the relationship between measuring mechanical vibrations and rotor dynamics, join the VRK Project beta testing program today and take the first step towards enhancing your knowledge of rotating machinery dynamics.


This free available demo version has been developed using reliable, and validated, open source tools. Mainly, PyChrono has been used as core library, alongside other well known python libraries like Numpy, Scipy and Matplotlib, in addition to FreeCAD, PySimpleGUI and Pyinstaller.

By running this stand-alone version, user can be able to conduct tests to balance a rotor by means of a single balancing plane. Since vibration amplitudes measurements and a reference signal are “acquired”, user can decide what rotor balancing method will apply to find the proper solution. For instance, one typical solution method could be based on vibration amplitude and phase measurements (influence coefficient method), or only based on vibration amplitude (i.e. four-run balancing method).

 Similar to an on-site rotor balancing in a lab experience, is up to the user to process the measurements in order to find the rotor balancing solution. Furthermore, for validation purposes, user can implement and hence, verify the calculated solution by running  a verification test using the VRK, addressing constrains to place trial weights at the single plane, and taking into account the available trial weights, in the same way as the balancing tests are conducted in a laboratory's rotor test rig. For more details, please check up the tutorial video, made by Dr. Carmen Müller-Karger, or  the illustrative example, which  describe how VRK works. 

The demo's installation for Windows is quite easy, you just follow these three simple steps:

·         VRK demo version for Windows (September, 2022)

VRK demo has been bundled in a single executable for an easy distribution. For this reason, it may be little slow (i.e. couple of seconds) to start up.

We would really appreciate if you let us know your thoughts over using this demo, and about what the project is intended to be, by answering a  5-question survey or, if you prefer, reaching me by email. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

The VRK Project Team


The current VRK demo version was developed thanks to the references mentioned below. Furthermore, if you wish to cite this project, please use the following reference:

Medina Uzcátegui LU, Müller-Karger Pereda C, Casanova Medina E. The Virtual Rotor Kit Project: A virtual rotor test rig for balancing experiments. International Journal of Mechanical Engineering Education. 2023;0(0). doi:10.1177/03064190231197119

 For this and similar projects, it must be acknowledged the job done by the open source developer community, who makes possible the availability of the computational tools that are being used in this project.

[1]      “Project Chrono - An Open-Source Physics Engine.” https://projectchrono.org/ (accessed Jan. 07, 2022).

[2]      M. L. Adams, Rotating Machinery Research and Development Test Rigs. CRC Press, 2017.

[3]      Tasora A., “Example: FEA of the Jeffcott rotor passing through resonance.” demo_FEA_beamsIGA.py in pychrono-6.0.0-py38_638/Lib/site-packages/pychrono/demos/fea. 2019.

[4]      A. Alsaleh, H. M. Sedighi, and H. M. Ouakad, “Experimental and theoretical investigations of the lateral vibrations of an unbalanced Jeffcott rotor,” Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 1024–1032, 2020.

[5]      Medina U, Luis U. and Casanova M, Euro L., “Desarrollo de un banco de ensayo virtual para el estudio del desbalanceo de rotores,” in Cuadernos de Mecánica Computacional, Sociedad Chilena de Mecánica Computacional, Aug. 2021, vol. 18, pp. 155–165.

[6]      FreeCAD/FreeCAD. FreeCAD, 2022. Accessed: Jan. 07, 2022. [Online]. Available: https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD

[7]      Project CHRONO. projectchrono, 2022. Accessed: Jan. 07, 2022. [Online]. Available: https://github.com/projectchrono/chrono

[8]      PySimpleGUI, PySimpleGUI. 2022. Accessed: Jan. 07, 2022. [Online]. Available: https://github.com/PySimpleGUI/PySimpleGUI

[9]      David Cortesi, Giovanni Bajo, William Caban, and Gordon McMillan, PyInstaller. PyInstaller, 2022. Accessed: Jan. 07, 2022. [Online]. Available: https://github.com/pyinstaller/pyinstaller/blob/41842f5ad31dd33d7ba4ae03daace2287c80dcb7/doc/index.rst


Contact [luis.medina@uach.cl] to get more information on the project.

Updated date: May, 2024.

This webpage was originally conceived and written by Luis Medina U. Its content is in prerelease status.