Without a crankshaft, cars, vehicles, and engines would simply not function. The crankshaft translates the energy of pistons into a rotational motion that delivers power to wheels. The capacity to translate the linear motion of working pistons into rotational power that provides drive and movement is clearly one of the key components in modern engines.
Over time and with more use, especially in heavy industry and construction, crankshafts can become unbalanced, just as the wheels do in our cars. When this occurs, they do not function as effectively and cause other problems, such as excessive vibration and noise. The key to having this addressed is finding a specialist service that offers crankshaft balancing.
Why Balancing the Crankshaft Is Important
The crankshaft component is typically part of an assemblage of rods and pistons. If this assembly is not balanced, power will not be delivered efficiently by the crankshaft mechanism and further damage may occur. Some specialist companies offer a portable dynamic balancing service where they can attend a site and calibrate and balance a machine. This is ideal for project managers and other personnel who are relying on working engines to meet strict deadlines and budgets.
Ideally, a balancing company should offer the following qualities:
- the capacity to calibrate and balance crankshafts dynamically onsite, which means less delays and increased chances of meeting project deadlines,
- the experience and equipment to offer balancing services on a wide range of equipment weights up to eight tonnes,
- the industry experience to service a wide range of industries, and
- the experience to reclaim and repair existing equipment.
In some cases, engine and crankshaft assemblies are simply not balanced properly, even straight out of the factory. The varying weights of the rods and pistons and their linear movement during operation effectively determines how the crankshaft must be balanced. The addition of counterweights or the milling of material from existing counterweights is the process through which a crankshaft assembly is balanced for operation.
A crankshaft that is not balanced may cause wear spots to appear on other sections of the assembly, thus reducing the life of the engine itself. An unbalanced crankshaft assembly also typically causes additional noise and vibration, which further reduces efficiency and lowers the amount of rotational power and drive delivered. In fact, some of the most severe cases of unbalanced crankshafts can even cause some engine parts to explode.
Crankshafts are used in a wide range of areas, including but not limited to the following:
- the mining industry, where heavy vehicles and on-site machinery make extensive use of crankshaft driven power,
- engines in the rail and marine industry,
- the manufacturing industry, and
- the pulp, paper, and printing industries.
In all of these industries, nothing happens without the crankshaft powering vehicles, engines, and other equipment. Fully working and optimised equipment in all of these industries and sectors is critical and could make or break an important and expensive project.