[VRK Project]

A [Simple] Virtual Rotor Kit


Develop a costless computational application to emulate experiments in a rotor kit


Rotating machinery facilities have mostly fostered research and development activities related with rotating machines dynamics, but they also allow engineering students, technicians and engineers to get a practical insight and better understanding of vibration-related issues in rotating machines, as well as to apply and validate techniques to mitigate the effects due to certain rotor vibration causes. This project pursues to contribute to those latter goals.

The Virtual Rotor Kit (VRK) Project’s proposal arises as an attempt to offer a simple computational tool to emulate tests carried out in a rotor test rig or rotor kit. The project is under current development, and it is powered by PyChrono, a Python library that wraps a Project Chrono library, which is a robust open source multi-physics simulation engine.

Although VRK Project does not pretend to replace any practical experience at a (real) rotating machinery test facility, it aims at complementing understanding of relationship between measuring mechanical vibrations and some of the typical rotordynamic phenomena (e.g. rotor unbalancing, resonant operation, rotor-bearing-support interactions). At the current project’s first stage, a basic demo version of the application is free available, expecting to get some feedback from interested users who may help to evaluate the feasibility of the VRK Project.

Download a demo

This free available demo version has been developed using reliable, and validated, open source softwares. Mainly, PyChrono has been used as a simulation platform, in addition to FreeCAD, PySimpleGUI and Pyinstaller.

By running this demo, 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” (synchronous) signal are “acquired”, user can decide what rotor balancing method to apply. For instance, one solution method could be based on vibration amplitude and phase measurements (e.g. influence coefficient method), or only based on vibration amplitude (i.e. four-run balancing method). Similar to an on-site balancing in a lab experience, is up to the user to process the measurements to find the rotor balancing solution. Furthermore, for validation purposes, user can implement and verify the calculated solution by running this VRK demo version, addressing constrains to place trial weights at the single plane, as well as taking into account the available trial weights. You can find more details about the demo by looking at the README_OR_SKIMME and VRK DEMO EXAMPLE files.

Click on following link to download the 255 MB compressed file (.7z).

· VRK demo version for Windows (January, 2022)

Create a new folder to extract the files and the data folder from the compressed file. By executing demo.exe file (just by double clicking on it) the VRK demo will run. The 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.

I would really appreciate if you let me 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.

Luis Medina U.


The current VRK demo version was developed thanks to the references mentioned below. 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: January, 2022.

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