Palazzolo and team win ASME "Journal of Tribology" award

Dr. Alan Palazzolo, James J. Cain Professor I in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University, Ph.D. candidate Xiaomeng Tong and former student Dr. Junho Suh won the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' (ASME) Journal of Tribology 2016 Best Paper Award.

The team was presented the award for its paper, “Rotordynamic Morton Effect Simulation with Transient, Thermal Shaft Bow,” at the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) Tribology Frontiers Conference, which was held at the Drake Hotel in Chicago.

The team’s paper focused on the Morton Effect, which is characterized by an asymmetric journal temperature distribution, slowly varying thermal bow and intolerable synchronous vibration levels.

“This effect is in some cases the nemesis of successfully operating critical turbines and compressors in petrochemical, power utility and manufacturing plants, which may have severe economic consequences,” said Palazzolo.

The team’s paper improves the accuracy of Morton Effect simulations by replacing the existing equivalent mass imbalance model with a more realistic thermal shaft bow model. Rotor permanent bow and disk skew are synchronous excitation sources, and are incorporated in the dynamic model to investigate their influence on the Morton Effect. A hybrid beam/solid element finite element shaft model is used to provide improved accuracy for predicting the rotor thermal bow and expansion.

Tong is a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering at Texas A&M. His specialty areas include rotordynamics, fluid film bearings and the Morton Effect. Currently, Tong has published four archival journal papers based on his Ph.D. work.

Suh received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M in 2014 and is presently an assistant professor in mechanical engineering at the Hankyong National University in Korea. His specialty areas include rotordynamics, fluid film bearings and the Morton Effect.

Palazzolo is an ASME Fellow and Professional Engineer in the state of Texas. He has co-authored 80 archival journal publications in the areas of rotordynamics, fluid film bearings and seals, energy storage flywheels, magnetic bearings, active vibration control, drillstring vibrations, motor related vibrations and direct fuel injectors. Palazzolo has been principal investigator on approximately $9 million of funded research at Texas A&M. This is his second Journal of Tribology Best Paper Award, having received his first in 2014 on the subject of “Three-Dimensional Thermodynamic Morton Effect Simulation Part I & Part II,” with the help of Suh.

Contributing Author: Samantha K. Ramirez