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Basic principles of vibrations

When an elastic body such as, a spring, a beam and a shaft are displaced
from the equilibrium position by the application of external forces, and then
released, they execute a vibratory motion, due to the elastic or strain energy
present in the body. When the body reaches the equilibrium position, the
whole of the elastic or stain energy is converted into kinetic energy due to
which the body continues to move in the opposite direction. The entire KE is
again converted into strain energy due to which the body again returns to
the equilibrium position. Hence the vibratory motion is repeated indefinitely.
Vibration is the study of repetitive motion of objects relative to a stationary
frame of reference or equilibrium position. The system tends to return to its
original equilibrium position under the action of restoring forces (like mass
attached to a spring or gravitational forces). Generally, vibrations are
undesirable for structures because they produce increased stresses and
energy Josses. Hence vibrations can be harmful and should be avoided. They
can occur in many directions and can be the result of interaction of many
The motion of vibrating system is governed by the laws of mechanics,
and in particular by-Newton's second law of motion ( F = ma).
Mass: Dynamically, it is the property that describes how an unrestricted
body resists the application of an external force. Mass is obtained by dividing
the weight of body by the acceleration of gravity. Unit of mass is given in
kilograms (kgs).
Oscillatory motion is any pattern of motion where the system under
observation moves back and forth across some equilibrium position, but does
not necessarily have any particular repeating pattern.
Periodic motion is a specific form of oscillatory motion where the motion
pattern repeats itself with a uniform time interval. This uniform time interval
is referred to as the period and has units of seconds per cycle. The reciprocal
of the period is referred to as the frequency and has units of cycles per
second. This unit of combination has been given a special unit symbol and is
referred to as Hertz(Hz)
Harmonic motion is a specific form of periodic motion where the motion
pattern can be describe by either a sine or cosine. This motion is also
sometimes referred to as simple harmonic motion. Because the sine or
cosine technically used angles in radians, the frequency term expressed in

the units radians per seconds (rad/sec). This is sometimes referred to as the
circular frequency. The relationship between the frequency in Hz (cps) and
the frequency in rad/sec is simply the relationship. 2p rad/sec.
Stiffness: It is defined as the force required to produce unit deformation. It
is an elastic property that describes the level of resisting force that results
when a body undergoes a change in length. The unit for stiffness is N/m.
Natural period (T): It is defined as the time required to complete one cycle
of free vibration. It is expressed in seconds.
Natural frequency: Generally frequency is the number of cycles per unit
time. When no external force acts on the system after giving it an initial
displacement, the body vibrates. These vibrations are called free vibrations
and their frequency is called natural frequency. It is expressed in rad/s' or
Amplitude: The maximum displacement or deformation of a vibrating
system from its mean position is called as amplitude.
Free vibration: The vibration which persists in a structure after the force
causing the motion has been removed is known as free vibration. No external
forces act on them. It takes place when a system oscillates under the action
of forces inherent in the system itself.
Example: Oscillation of a simple pendulum.
Forced vibration: The vibration which is maintained in a structure by
steady periodic force acting on the known as forced vibration.
When the excitation is oscillatory, the system is forced to vibrate at the
excitation frequency. Forced vibration, may be either deterministic or
random. The behavior of a system under forced vibration depends on the
type of excitation.
Fundamental mode of vibration: The fundamental mode of vibration of a
structure is the mode having the lowest natural frequency.
Damping: Damping is the resistance to the motion of a vibrating body. The
associated with this resistance are known as damped vibrations. It is a
the vibrational energy of the system is gradually reduced or the amplitude of
decreased. Unit of damping is N/m/s.
Resonance: When the frequency of external force is equal to or matches
with one of the natural frequencies of the vibrating system, the amplitude of
vibration becomes excessively large. This phenomenon is called resonance.
The failure of major structures such as bridges and buildings is an awesome
possibility under resonance.

Degrees of freedom: A simple definition of degrees of freedom is the

number of coordinates necessary to specify the position or geometry of mass
point at any instant during its vibration. A real structure possesses infinite
number of dynamic degrees of freedom.

1 A harmonic motion has a time period of 0.2 s and amplitude of 0.4 cm.
find the maximum velocity
and acceleration
Solution: Given details:
T = 0.2 s
A = 0.4 cm
Frequency n=2/T = 31.42 rad/s

394.89 cm/s2

Maximum velocity = An = 0.4 x

31.42 =12.57cm/s
Maximum acceleration An 2 = 0.4 x (31.42)2 =

2 A harmonic motion has a maximum velocity of 6 m/s and it has a

frequency of 12 cps. Determine its amplitude, its period and its maximum
Solution: Given details:
maximum velocity = 6 m/s frequency f= 12 cps
f=1/T= n/2
ie 12= n/2 => n=75.398 m/s
maximum velocity=A n


A= 79.66 mm

maximum acceleration=An2 = 79.66*75.3982


Mathematical Modelling of an SDOF System

To understand the dynamic behaviour of the structures, it is necessary to
develop their models under the influence of dynamic loads such as winds,
blasts, earthquakes, and heavy rotating machinery, etc. These models can
be used either as laboratory models for doing experimental studies, for
research Work or as mathematical models for analytical purposes.

Let us. consider a simple portal frame as shown in Figure. While developing a
mathematical model, some assumptions are made to simplify the analysis.
They are


The total mass of a portal frame is assumed to act at the slab level,
since the masses of columns
are very less when compared to that of
slab: i.e., masses of columns are ignored.
(ii) The beam/slab is assumed as infinitely rigid, so that the stiffness of
provided only by columns, i.e., flexibility of slab/beam is ignored.

(iii) Since, the beams are usually built monolithically within the columns,
joint can be assumed to be rigid as without any rotations at joint.
By these assumptions, the possibility of lateral deformation or
displacement is due to only rigid beam/slab. The model resulting from all
the above mentioned .assumptions is called as shear building model. This
shear building idealization although unrealistic is necessary for
mathematical formulation of vibration problems
The portal frame under the influence of a lateral load F(t) can be
represented mathematically as -the response of SDOF system as shown in
Figure below. This typical discrete spring-mass system is equivalent to the
response of a portal frame. The parameters of the mathematical model are
related to its prototype (actual frame) as:
1. Mass m representing the total mass of the beam and the slab of the
frame and inertia characteristic of the structure; energy is stored by
mass in the form of kinetic energy.
2. Stiffness of spring k represents the combined stiffness of two columns
for lateral deformation that is the elastic restoring force and it stores
the potential energy (internal strain energy) due to columns.
3. Dashpot haying damping coefficient C represents the energy
dissipation, i.e. the frictional characteristics and energy losses of the
frame and
4. An excitation force F(t) representing the external lateral force applied
on the portal

From the above example, it is seen that the following four elements are the
most important
to determine the dynamic behaviour
(a) The inertia force (m)
(b)The restoring force or spring force ( kx)
(c) The damping force (c)
(d) The exciting force (F(t))

DAlemberts principle
Considering equilibrium of all the forces in X direction, the governing
equation of motion for the SDOF system is
m + c +kx = F(t)
The above equation is in the form of an equation of motion of force
equilibrium in which the sum of a number of force terms equals zero. Hence,
if an imaginary force which is equal to ma were applied to the- system in the
direction opposite to the acceleration; the system could then be considered
to be in equilibrium under the action of the real force F and the imaginary
force ma. This imaginary force ma is known as inertia force and the position
of equilibrium is called dynamic equilibrium.
D'Alembert's principle
states that 'a system may be in dynamic
equilibrium by adding to the external forces F(t) an imaginary force which is
commonly known as the inertia force (m)