In many types of rotating equipment (cars, boats, helicopters, pumps, compressors), regular wear and tear bring about a gradual increase in unbalancing of the rotating components. In an industrial settings, unbalancing is one of the most common causes of failures (e.g. bearing wear, mechanical seal; etc.). This unbalance is even more crucial/prevalent in higher-RPM components.
This device is clamped on the rotating component of the rotating component (whether it be an impeller, a helicopter rotor, or wheel) and allows for the constant monitoring of the rotating component, and alleviate the unbalance condition. This in turn allows the user to be alerted of the unbalance condition in real-time, as well as mitigate/eliminate the unbalance until the component can be serviced/re-balanced/repaired at a later time.
The device works by using the wedge principle. Several small wedge-pairs are oriented around the rotating component. When an unbalance condition is detected (whether it be by a striking object, gunk-buildup; etc.) the device allows for rapid remediation of the unbalance condition.
The device principle is simple, and can be actuated either electrically or magnetically. the wedge pairs would also have to be lubricated to allow for smooth/fast operation of the wedges.
By nature, rotating pieces of equipment do not allow for direct/wired connection of electronics. Therefore, the sensor(s) and the actuators within the "balancing ring" would have to be self-powered by individual batteries within the ring. As far as sensors, piezo-sensors could achieve the work of detecting unbalancing conditions within the component.
The number of wedge pairs does not have to be high. A minimum of three or seven (typically in odd-numbered combinations) is enough to achieve unbalance remediation.
There is the option of externally powering the ring is also possible via magnets, but this would require complex coordination.
I could have developed this invention further myself, yet the opportunity never arose.
If this is a viable product, the applications could be many: helicopter rotors, fans, blowers. Essentially, anywhere a rotating piece of equipment is difficult or expensive to shutdown and repair. Critical industries such as defense, power, and nuclear could also benefit from the extended service life of their critical/expensive pieces of equipment.
In the attachment. Various tries at visualizing the mechanism are shown, but the principle is the same among them: change the wedge-pair orientation to shift the center of gravity of the ring. In turn, this alleviates the single-plane unbalance of the rotor.
Apologies for the text, this is a rushed project as I just found out about this project yesterday; this is a rushed text! Thank you.