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(written by Julio A Noriega, slightly modified) Lab 5A s
Introduction to Vibration Theory
Vibration is a terminology used to describe a broad range of phenomena, both
natural and manmade, ranging from the oscillating motion of the atoms, the swaying
back and forth of the water in a beach, to the beautiful violin sounds and the rattling of
the steering wheel of a car in motion. Our bodies are an embodiment of vibratory
phenomena. We can not even say ‘vibration’ properly without the tip of the tongue
oscillating.
Vibration prevails in manmade devices, machines, and transportation systems
such as automobiles, airplanes and satellites as every successful engineering design must
address vibration problems. The vibration of mechanical systems may be caused by
sudden or continuos disturbances, such as aerodynamics forces on airplanes, oscillations
of the internal combustion engines in automobiles, etc. Qualitatively speaking, the energy
contained in the disturbance is transmitted to the mechanical systems and finds its way to
propagate throughout the system. The energy carried by mechanical vibrations from one
part of the system may reverse its transmission path and reverse its flow path.
The designer must evaluate whether any component of the mechanical system
break during the initial violent disturbance stages, subsequent steadystate vibration,
degradations of system performance during the postdisturbance period, and potential
fatigue failure due to prolonged vibrations.
Undamped Free Vibrations for SingleDegreeofFreedom Systems
The simplest vibratory system consists of an elastic member and a mass element,
as represented in Fig. 1a. This is a singledegreeoffreedom system since it can move in
only one coordinate; that is, it requires only coordinate x to define its configuration. Since
there is no external force to drive the system, the motion is designated as a free vibration.
It is also undamped, as no condition is present which would inhibit the motion.
Now consider a freebody diagram of the mass in Fig.1a, with the massless spring
elongated from its rest, or equilibrium position. The mass of the object is m and the
stiffness of the spring is k. Assuming that the mass moves on a frictionless surface along
the x direction, the only force acting on the mass in the x direction is the spring force. As
long as the motion of the spring does not exceed its linear range, the force in the x
direction equal the product of mass and acceleration:
( ) ( ) t kx t x m − ·
(1)
1
Fig 1a Singledegreeoffreedom systems
MAE 244 Introduction to Vibration
(written by Julio A Noriega, slightly modified) Lab 5A s
( ) ( ) 0 · + t kx t x m
(2)
One of the goals of vibration analysis is to be able to predict the response, or motion, of a
vibration system. Thus it is desirable to calculate the solution to equation (2), which can
be written as:
0
2
· + x x ω (3)
Where the natural frequency is defined as:
m
k
· ω
Equation (3) is a homogeneous linear differential equation with constant coefficient.
Since it is of second order, the solution must contain two arbitrary constants.
t i t i
e c e c x
ϖ ω −
+ ·
2 1
t d t d x ϖ ω sin cos
2 1
+ ·
t B t A x ω ω cos sin + · ⇒ (4)
The arbitrary constant A and B can be determined from the initial conditions of the
motion
When t = 0
0
x x ·
(5)
0
v x ·
(6)
Substituting Eqs. 5 and 6 into Eq. 4, its time derivative will evaluate the arbitrary
constants as
ω
0
v
A · (7)
0
x B ·
(8)
So the solution becomes
t x t
v
x ω ω
ω
cos sin
0
0
+ · (9)
Using trigonometric relations we can transform to
) sin( φ ω + · t X x
(10)
2
MAE 244 Introduction to Vibration
(written by Julio A Noriega, slightly modified) Lab 5A s
where X represents the amplitude of the displacement and φ is the phase angle as defined
by:
0
2 2 0
x
v
X +
,
`
.

·
ω
(11)
,
`
.

·
ω
φ
/
tan
0
0
v
x
(12)
The motion represented by Eqs. 9 and 10 is said to be harmonic, because of its sinusoidal
form. The motion is repeated (see Fig.2), with the time for one cycle being defined by the
value of ωt equal to 2π. Thus the period τ, or the time for one cycle, is given by
τ = 2π/ω (13)
The reciprocal of τ expresses the frequency f in cycles per unit time. Thus
f = ω/2π (14)
Because the solution is a circular function. The term ω is designated as the circular
frequency. It is measured in radians per second.
Damped FreeVibration for SingleDegreeofFreedom System
The vibrations considered in the preceding section were selfsustaining and would
not increase, diminish, or change in character with time. That is, there was not source
which would excite the system and hence increase the amplitude of the vibration, nor was
there any form of resistance that would dissipate energy and reduce the oscillation in any
way. A consideration of practical cases, however, would reveal that this condition is not
realistic, since all vibrations gradually lose amplitude and eventually cease altogether,
unless, they are maintained by some external source. Since the amplitude of a free
vibration slowly dies away, something must cause energy to be removed from the system.
The vibration is said to be damped, and the means of energy removal is called damper.
3
Figure 2 undamped free vibrations for singledegreeoffreedom systems [1]
MAE 244 Introduction to Vibration
(written by Julio A Noriega, slightly modified) Lab 5A s
x c F
d
− ·
(15)
where the damping constant c is the resistance developed per unit velocity.
Coulomb or dryfriction damping is encountered when bodies slide on dry surfaces
N F µ ·
(16)
Hysteresis damping which is also called solid or structural damping is due to internal
friction of the material.
Free Vibration with Viscous Damping
Damping that produces a damping force proportional to the mass's velocity is commonly
referred to as "viscous damping" as shown in Figure 3.
Using Newton’s Second Law.
x c kx x m − − · (17)
which can be rearranged as
0 · + + x
m
k
x
m
c
x
(18)
The solution of this equation (18) is
¹
'
¹
,
`
.

−
,
`
.

t − ·
m
k
m
c
m
c
s
2
2 2
(19)
To simplify the solutions coming up, we define the critical damping constant c
c
as,
4
Figure 3 Free vibration systems with viscous damping
MAE 244 Introduction to Vibration
(written by Julio A Noriega, slightly modified) Lab 5A s
ω · ·
m
k
m
c
c
2
(20)
or
ω m mk c
c
2 2 · · (21)
For a damped system the ratio of the damping constant to the critical value is a
dimensionless parameter which represents a meaningful measure of the amount of
damping present in the system. This ratio is called the damping factor, ζ. It is defined by
c
c
c
· ς
(22)
whence
ςω · ·
m
c
c
c
m
c
c
c
2 2
(23)
Three are three main forms of damping [1]:
1). If c
2
 4mk < 0, the system is termed “underdamped”. The roots of the characteristic
equation are complex conjugates, corresponding to oscillatory motion with an
exponential decay in amplitude.
2). If c
2
 4mk =0, the system is termed “criticallydamped”. The roots of the
characteristic equation are repeated, corresponding to simple decaying motion with at
most one overshoot of the system's resting position.
3). If c
2
 4mk > 0, the system is termed “overdamped”. The roots of the characteristic
equation are purely real and distinct, corresponding to simple exponentially decaying
motion.
Underdamped System
When c
2
 4mk < 0 ( ζ < 1), the solution of the equation (18) can be written as
( )
t i
t i
e C e C x
ω ς ς
ω ς ς
,
`
.

− − −
,
`
.

− + −
+ ·
1
2
1
1
2
2
(24)
)] sin( ) cos( [
2 1
t d t d e
d
t
ω ω
ζω
+ ·
−
)] sin( ) cos( [
0 0
0
t
x v
t x e x
d
d
t
ω
ω
ζω
ω
ζω
+
+ · ⇒
−
Alternatively, the solution may be expressed by the equivalent form:
5
MAE 244 Introduction to Vibration
(written by Julio A Noriega, slightly modified) Lab 5A s
) sin(
0
φ ω
ςω
+ ·
−
t e X x
d
t
(25)
where
( )ϖ ς ω
2
1− ·
d
(26)
ω
d
represents the damped circular frequency. Note that ω
d
will equal to ω when the
damping of the system is zero (i.e. undamped).
Equation (25) demonstrates that the displacement amplitude decays exponentially (Fig.4),
i.e. the natural logarithm of the amplitude ratio for any two displacements separated in
time by a ratio is a constant. In this curve, the logarithmic decrement δ is expressed by:
2
1 1
2
ln ln
ς
πς
ςω δ
ςω
−
· · · ·
+
t e
x
x
t
j
j
(27)
Where x
j
is the amplitude after j cycles; x
j+1
is the amplitude after j+1 cycles.
δ n
x
x
n
·
0
ln
(28)
,
`
.

·
n
x
x
n
0
ln
1
δ
(29)
The damped period is:
6
Figure 4 Vibration decay with time in the underdamped system [1]
MAE 244 Introduction to Vibration
(written by Julio A Noriega, slightly modified) Lab 5A s
d
d
ω
π
τ
2
·
System Overview
The experimental dynamic system comprises the three subsystems is shown in
Figure 5. The first of these is the electromechanical apparatus which consists of the
rectilinear mechanism, its actuator and sensors. The design features a brushless DC servo
motor, precision rack and pinion drive (actuator, force generator), high resolution
encoders (sensor), adjustable mass carriages (system mass) and reconfigurable system
type (variable damping coefficient dashpot, springs with different stiffness).
The next subsystem is the real time controller unit which contains the digital
signal processor (DSP) based realtime controller, sevo/actuator interfaces, servo
amplifiers and auxiliary supplies. The controller also supports such functions as data
acquisition, driving function shape generation, system health and safety check.
The third subsystem is the executive program which runs on a PC. This menu –
driven program is the user’s interface to the system and supports driving function
specification, input shape definition, data acquisition, plotting, system execution
commands and more.
Figure 5 The experimental dynamic system
Ref [1] http://www.efunda.com/formulae/vibrations/sdof_free_damped.cfm
7
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