Modal Analysis of General Cyclically Symmetric Systems with Applications to Multi-Stage Structures

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

This work investigates the modal properties of general cyclically symmetric systems and the multi-stage systems with cyclically symmetric stages. The work generalizes the modal properties of engineering applications, such as planetary gears, centrifugal pendulum vibration absorber (CPVA) systems, multi-stage planetary gears, etc., and provides methods to improve the computational efficiency to numerically solve the system modes when cyclically symmetric structures exist.

Modal properties of cyclically symmetric systems with vibrating central components as three-dimensional rigid bodies are studied without any assumptions on the system matrix symmetries: asymmetric inertia matrix, damping, gyroscopic, and circulatory terms can be present. In the equation of motion of such a cyclically symmetric system, the matrix operators are proved to have properties related to the cyclic symmetry. These symmetry-related properties are used to prove the modal properties of general cyclically symmetric systems. Only three types of modes can exist: substructure modes, translational-tilting modes, and rotational-axial modes. Each mode type is characterized by specific central component modal deflections and substructure phase relations. Instead of solving the full eigenvalue problem,all vibration modes and natural frequencies can be obtained by solving smaller eigenvalue problems associated with each mode type. This computational advantage is dramatic for systems with many substructures or many degrees of freedom per substructure.

Group theory is applied to further generalize the modal properties of cyclically symmetric systems when both rigid-body and compliant central components exist, such as planetary gears with an elastic continuum ring gear. The group theory for symmetry groups is introduced, and the group-theory-based modal analysis does not rely on any knowledge of the properties of system matrices in system equations of motion. The three types of modes (substructure modes, translational-tilting modes, and rotational-axial modes) are characterized by specific rigid-body central component modal defections, substructure phase relations, and nodal diameter components of compliant central components. The general formulation of reduced eigenvalue problems for each mode type is obtained through group-theory-based method, and it applies to discrete, continuous, or hybrid discrete-continuous cyclically symmetric systems. The group-theory-based modal analysis also applies to systems with other symmetry types.

The group-theory-based modal analysis is generalized to analyze the multi-stage systems that are composed of symmetric stages coupled through the motions of rigid-body central components. The proposed group-theory-based modal analysis applies to multi-stage systems with cyclically symmetric stages, such as multi-stage planetary gears and CPVA systems with multiple groups of absorbers. The method also applies to multi-stage systems with component stages that have different types of symmetry. For a multi-stage system with symmetric stages, a unitary transformation matrix can be built through an algorithmic and computationally inexpensive procedure. The obtained unitary transformation matrix provides the foundation to analyze the modal properties based on the principles of group-theory-based modal analysis. For general multi-stage systems with symmetric component stages, the vibration modes are classified into two general types, single-stage substructure modes and overall modes, according to the non-zero modal deflections in each component stage. Reduced eigenvalue problems for each mode type are formulated to reduce the computational cost for eigensolutions.

Finite element models of multi-stage bladed disk assemblies consist of multiple cyclically symmetric bladed disks that are coupled through the boundary nodes at the inter-stage interface. To improve the computational efficiency of calculating the full system modes, a numerical method is proposed by combination of the multi-stage cyclic symmetry reduction method and the subspace iteration method. Compared to the multi-stage cyclic symmetry reduction method, the proposed method improves the accuracy of obtained eigensolutions through an iterative process that is derived from the subspace iteration method. Based on the cyclic symmetry in each component stage of bladed disk, the proposed iterative method that can be performed using single stage sector models only, instead of using matrix operators for the full multi-stage bladed disks. Parallel computations can be performed in the proposed iterative method, and the computational speed for eigensolutions can be increased significantly.

Cyclic Symmetry, Group Theory, Modal Properties, Multi-Stage System