After rst clarifying what mechanical shock is and why we measure it,basic requirements are provided for all measurement systems thatprocess transient signals. High- and low-frequency dynamic models forthe measuring accelerometer are presented and justied. These modelsare then used to investigate accelerometer responses to mechanicalshock. The results enable “rules of thumb” to be developed for shock data assessment and proper accelerometer selection. Other helpfulconsiderations for measuring mechanical shock are also provided.
The denition of mechanical shock is, “anonperiodic excitation of a mechanical system, that is characterized bysuddenness and severity, and usually causes signicant relativedisplacements in the system.”
The denition of suddenness andseverity is dependent upon the system encountering the shock. Forexample, if the human body is considered a mechanical system, ashock pulse of duration of 0.2 seconds into the feet of a vertical human,due to impact resulting from a leap or a jump, would be sudden. Thisis because vertical humans typically have a resonant frequency of about 4 Hz. The amplitude of the shock would further characterize itsseverity. By contrast, for most engineering components, this sameshock would be neither sudden nor severe.The eects of mechanical shock are so important that theInternational Organization for Standardization (ISO) has a standingcommittee, TC 108, dealing with shock and vibration; a Shock andVibration Handbook
has been published and routinely updated by
The McGraw-Hill Companies
since 1961; and the U.S. Department of Defense has sponsored a focused symposium on this subject atleast annually since 1947.
Figure 1 provides several examples of components or systems experiencing mechanical shock.Mechanical shock can be specied in either the time, and/or frequencydomains, or by its associated shock-response spectrum.
Figure 2 is anexample of a shock pulse specied in the time domain. This pulse is used asan input to test sleds, to enable qualication of head and neck constraintsystems for National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR)crashes.
Its duration of approximately 63 msec. produces 68 g’s at 43.5 mph.Figure 3 on the following page shows an example of a mechanicalshock described by its amplitude in the frequency domain. Thisrepresentation is particularly useful in linear analysis, when systemtransfer function is of interest (e.g., mechanical impedance, mobilityand transmissibility). It provides knowledge of input-excitationfrequencies to the mechanical system being characterized.Figure 4 is an example of a shock-response spectrum. The shock response spectrum (SRS) is one method to enable the shock input toa system or component to be described, in terms of its damagepotential. It is very useful in generating test specications.
Obviously, accurate measurement of mechanical shock is a subject of greatimportance to designers.
Measurement System Requirements:
There are a number of generalmeasurement requirements that must be dealt with in measuring anytransient signal that has an important time-history. The moresignicant of these requirements are listed below:1.The frequency response of a measuring system must haveat amplitude-response and linear phase-shift over itsresponse range of interest.
Selecting Accelerometers for and Assessing Data from Mechanical Shock Measurements
Patrick L. Walter, Ph. D.Measurement Specialist/PCB Piezotronics, Inc.Engineering Faculty/Texas Christian University92167XT,htroWtroF34041YN,wepeD
PCB PIEZOTRONICS, INC. • WWW.PCB.COM -1-
Examples of Mechanical Shock
Package DropProjectile FiringTrain/Truck Crash
Shock Time History Used in NASCAR Testing