Research and over 40 years of application haveshown that there is no damage due to highresonance. This is because critically high-imposedstresses are impossible to achieve as dampingincreases dramatically with high cyclic strain.R-VSR is normally applied before machining,ideally though it should be applied after roughmachining as it then also reduces machiningstresses. Application before final grindingachieves even closer tolerances. Treatment atthis or the finished stage eliminates micromovement occurring between leaving thecustomer or in service. The most accurate andstable components are R-VSR treated. In general,even using old style R-VSR, where suitablecomponents have been excited at one or moreresonant frequencies, the results have beenstress reductions of 30% or more dependingmainly on the equipment used. Meanwhile an ACvibrator system with a ‘g’ tolerance of over 80gcan obviously be expected to be the mostefficient means of stress relief Strachen showedan 80% reduction with mild steel weldedspecimens and a 60% reduction in stainless steelwelded pieces. Zveginceva found over a 40%decrease and Zubchenko showed a 73%reduction with large mild steel welded bedplates. Treatment at a succession of modes, each havinga different strain pattern was shown by Polnov tocause substantial reduction and redistribution of stresses. At the limit 1% stress relief makes thedifference between instability and stability.With the advent of the 5-220Hz range of VSRmachines, Jesensky Bonthuys Ohol andSagalevich have shown reductions of 40-80%using resonant frequencies. The higherpercentage figure will not be achieved if theresearchers did not invoke the cyclic properties of the material. Much is to be learned from theexcellent research by Walker, Waddell & Johnstone .Manufactures of vibrating plant use R-VSR forstress relief and fitness for purpose testing andthereby extend warranties on screen, decksupport frames, moulds etc.
MODAL SUB-RESONANT VSR
If when attempting R-VSR, only the base of thepeak is achievable (due to the peak being just outof range). Treatment would be classed as modalsub-resonant VSR i.e. the mode shape would beevident, but the peak not achievable. Optimumresults are obtained if up to 10 times the numberof cycles required for R-VSR are applied ininverse proportion to the magnitude of the cyclicresponse.
Where only modal sub-resonant treatment ispossible Waddell has proved that, given sufficientcycles, considerable stress relief occurs with noreduction in fatigue life.Practice supports this. The time for treatmentvaries from equipment to equipment.Strain measurements have indicated that modalSR-VSR is most effective against high tensilestresses, whereas R-VSR works well either onboth high tensile and high compressive stresses.For stability after machining and in service, bothtensile and compressive stress peaks must belowered if they are approaching yield value. Afterall, stability is the main requirement for which R-VSR or modal SR-VSR is applied.When resonance is used, stability more thanmatches that of thermal stress relief, as it can bere-applied near finished machine size.It is best carried out with the equipment used forR-VSR processing because of its superiorfrequency range.VCM 90/905 machines which have twice therange of any other equipment.
If neither of the above conditions are met (due toresonant responses being way beyond the rangeof the equipment), conventional wisdom indicatesthat no stress relief is possible. This seems to bethe domain of sub-harmonic VSR. Treatment issaid to take place at the foot of a minute sub-harmonic of a true resonant peak. Sales literaturestates that the process depends on energyabsorption being at a maximum near the foot of asub-harmonic peak. Because exciter forceincreases with the square of the speed one mightlogically expect the highest sub-harmonic peak tobe the most effective for treatment, however themanufacturers, actually advocate treatment at alow one. This possibly indicates that theirequipment has poor ‘g’ tolerance. Themechanism by which SH-VSR is said to work hasno connection with either R-VSR or modal SR-VSR. The diagram used to promote the process and itsmechanism appears unconvincing if drawn toscale. SH-VSR claims to vibrate the atoms andmove them relative to one another in thestrained crystal lattice of the material. Thisseems farcical, as the energy used is so low thatthe vibration usually cannot be either felt orheard.
Researchers have investigated aspects of VSR forover 40 years. Some were legitimately exploringits boundaries but others have toyed with test-pieces and procedures not remotely connectedwith VSR resulting in some misconceptions. Allthe research reported below was conducted withactual VSR equipment, assisted by the equipment