We present a nonlinear analysis of the dynamics of an automatic ball balancer (ABB) for rotors which are both eccentric and misaligned. The ABB consists of two or more ball bearings which are free to travel around a circular race at a fixed distance from the shaft. The balls, after a transient response, find a steady state which balances the rotor. Following the previous work of Green et al. at Bristol, we have included the effect of shaft misalignment which causes the rotor to precess. This can be countered by having two ABB races at different axial locations along the shaft. Mathematically, we use a Lagrangian approach to derive the equations of motion for the system. It is found that, contrary to the case of flexible rotors that are subject to eccentricity and shaft bending, there is no choice of co-ordinate system which leads to autonomous governing equations. Simulations are then computed which illustrate the role of the ball damping coefficient.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2006

Bibliographical note

Sponsorship: EPSRC, Rolls-Royce plc.


  • Euler angles
  • automatic balancing
  • shaft misalignment
  • rigid rotor


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