So I have a high vibration issue in an horizontal induction motor with sleeve bearings (coupled to a BFW pump) which is 3.5 MW and provided with proximity probes. The vibration amplitude is very much less than the alarm limits but are in an increasing trend which is my concern. I have a query regarding the shaft centerline plot.
Now let us say the bearing clearance is 0.2 mm. Now during a start-up (or a coast down) I was looking at a shaft centerline plot and the vertical axis shows that the shaft has lifted 0.19 mm. So by these readings, the maximum distance between the shaft and the bearing is just 0.01 mm or 10 micron. Now I notice that the shaft vibration shown by both the proximity probes is 50 micron. Since the shaft has stabilized at this position, it will be vibrating with a peak to peak amplitude of 50 micron from its position. So even if I just consider the peak amplitude of vibration which is 25 micron, the shaft will rub on the bearing as the available gap between the shaft and bearing is just 10 micron. Am I correct in assuming this?
The reason I ask this question is I don't find any other indication of shaft to bearing rubbing. The full spectrum and the orbit aren't conclusive. The frequency of vibration is purely 1X. Pump vibrations are normal and steady. And the metal analysis of oil doesn't indicate any Babbitt material. Appreciate any input on this.