Vishwajit Ghatge


1 FEM and Experimental Modal Analysis of Computer Mount

Authors: David Looper, Vishwajit Ghatge


Over the last few decades, oilfield service rolling equipment has significantly increased in weight, primarily because of emissions regulations, which require larger/heavier engines, larger cooling systems, and emissions after-treatment systems, in some cases, etc. Larger engines cause more vibration and shock loads, leading to failure of electronics and control systems. If the vibrating frequency of the engine matches the system frequency, high resonance is observed on structural parts and mounts. One such existing automated control equipment system comprising wire rope mounts used for mounting computers was designed approximately 12 years ago. This includes the use of an industrial- grade computer to control the system operation. The original computer had a smaller, lighter enclosure. After a few years, a newer computer version was introduced, which was 10 lbm heavier. Some failures of internal computer parts have been documented for cases in which the old mounts were used. Because of the added weight, there is a possibility of having the two brackets impact each other under off-road conditions, which causes a high shock input to the computer parts. This added failure mode requires validating the existing mount design to suit the new heavy-weight computer. This paper discusses the modal finite element method (FEM) analysis and experimental modal analysis conducted to study the effects of vibration on the wire rope mounts and the computer. The existing mount was modelled in ANSYS software, and resultant mode shapes and frequencies were obtained. The experimental modal analysis was conducted, and actual frequency responses were observed and recorded. Results clearly revealed that at resonance frequency, the brackets were colliding and potentially causing damage to computer parts. To solve this issue, spring mounts of different stiffness were modeled in ANSYS software, and the resonant frequency was determined. Increasing the stiffness of the system increased the resonant frequency zone away from the frequency window at which the engine showed heavy vibrations or resonance. After multiple iterations in ANSYS software, the stiffness of the spring mount was finalized, which was again experimentally validated.

Keywords: Vibration, Resonance, modal analysis, Frequency, experimental modal analysis, FEM Modal Analysis

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