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Mechanical Vibration By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34)

Mechanical Vibration
By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34), QUEST, Nawabshah – Pakistan.

Submitted to Sir Abdul Ghani Memon Sahab

Waqas Ali T unio (07ME34)

Quaid-e-Awam University of Engineering, Science & Technology,
Nawabshah - Pakistan

Mechanical Vibration By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34)

Vibration refers to mechanical oscillations about an equilibrium point. The oscillations may be periodic such as the motion
of a pendulum or random such as the movement of a tire on a gravel road.

Vibration is occasionally "desirable". For example the motion of a tuning fork, the reed in a woodwind instrument or
harmonica, or the cone of a loudspeaker is desirable vibration, necessary for the correct functioning of the various devices.

More often, vibration is undesirable, wasting energy and creating unwanted sound – noise. For example, the vibrational
motions of engines, electric motors, or any mechanical device in operation are typically unwanted. Such vibrations can be
caused by imbalances in the rotating parts, uneven friction, the meshing of gear teeth, etc. Careful designs usually
minimize unwanted vibrations.

The study of sound and vibration are closely related. Sound, or "pressure waves", are generated by vibrating structures
(e.g. vocal cords); these pressure waves can also induce the vibration of structures (e.g. ear drum). Hence, when trying to
reduce noise it is often a problem in trying to reduce vibration.

Mechanical Vibration By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34)

An accelerometer is a device that measures proper acceleration, the acceleration experienced relative to freefall.

Single- and multi-axis models are available to detect magnitude and direction of the acceleration as a vector quantity, and
can be used to sense position, vibration and shock. Micromachined accelerometers are increasingly present in portable
electronic devices and video game controllers, to detect the position of the device or provide for game input.

How to design an Accelerometer?

The design specifications and parameters are required to take in consideration to design an accelerometer are:

The Bandwidth (###) Hz,

The Sensitivity (#. #) pF/G,

The Dynamic range +/- (##) G,

The Minimum detectable acceleration (#) mG.

Mechanical study

Design approach

Single axis accelerometer

The design to be fabricated is a single -axis capacitive accelerometer (See Fig. 3.1), this system contains:

 a mass (m),

 a spring (with constant k),

 and a dumper (with coefficient b).

This system can be translated to a simple mechanical system as it can be seen in Fig.3.2:

Mechanical Vibration By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34)

Fig.3.2: The Behaviour of an accelerometer

This system is just an approximation to the real approach behaviour. This mechanical system gives a second order system
given by:

dividing by m, thus:


witch gives a transfer function (Lapalce domain):

or …….(2)


: is the resonant frequency, and

: is the quality factor.

Assumptions and limitations

The basic limitation are needed to look at it is the damping, where the accelerometer has to be critically damped, hence
this permits to get the least amplitude distortion. This means that therefore [3]:

Mechanical Vibration By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34)


In order to characterise the dumping we need to solve the dominator’s equation by calculating the Δ of the transfer
function (equation (2)) of our system.

for Δ=0 thus:


Three different cases can be distinguished then:

 Under dumped system where ,

 Critically dumped system where ,

 Over dumped system where .

In Order to get a maximum bandwidth, the sensing element should be critically damped [2].
Note also, that the mass should be big enough to conform to our sensitivity requirements, and at the same time it has to
be small enough to be compatible with “b ” in such a way we can get critical damping.
Another important assumption which can help us to find the right parameters for designing our capacitive
accelerometer; is to assign the sensitive gap “d” , since it is limited by the fabrication processes.


The mechanical resonance frequency of a suspended mass is given by:

This means that in an open loop arrangement a high sensitivity yields to a small bandwidth. In a closed loop arrangement
the resonance peak can be suppressed by the control circuit. The bandwidth is no longer limited by the mechanical
resonance of the sensor but is limited by the transition frequency of the control circuit [6].

Minimum detectable acceleration and mechanical noise

The given specifications for our design are the bandwidth, sensitivity, dynamic range and the minimum detectable
acceleration. The minimum acceleration that the system can detect must be higher than the noise level, this means that
the minimum acceleration is limited by the noise boundary.

The noise affects the system is a combination of two different noises come from the mechanical sensor and electronic
readout circuit.

Mechanical Vibration By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34)

In the mechanical study of the design, we need to focus on the mechanical noise only. However in the
electrical/electronic study which will follow later on we will neglect the mechanical noise and focus only on the electric
noise since it is the dominant one in the electrical system.

The mechanical noise of the accelerometer is mainly caused due to the damping, which is called Brownian motion noise.
This is used to specify the noise in terms of acceleration noise. Therefore the noise or the minimum acceleration can be
detected, is given by equation (5) [4]:

or …..(5)


The sensitivity in a capacitive accelerometer is defined by the difference of variation in the capacitance divided by the
difference in variation in the displacement, in which the sensitivity equation is given by [4]:


ε: is the electric permittivity of air,
A: is the overlap area of electrodes ,
d: is the gap between the electrodes. However the gap between electrodes should be as small as possible and it is defined
by the process of fabrication.

Dynamic Range

In an open loop arrangement the operating range is limited by the maximum deflection of the seismic mass. Since a small
spring constant k yields a high sensitivity, seismic masses in high resolution accelerometers are suspended softly.
Therefore, the operating range of these accelerometers is small. In our design the dynamic range of operation which is
given equals to ±##G. So the maximum measurable acceleration is determined by [4]:


Spring constant

As it can be seen clearly in the equations above, that the spring constant “k ” affects directly the resonant frequency,
bandwidth, sensitivity and also the pull-in voltage. Instead in the real design the spring constant is related directly to the
beam characteristics, which are the length (L), the thickness (t), the width (W) and the elasticity of material coefficient (
Young modulus (E)).

Note that the spring constant changes in a beam due to the tonsil and compressive stresses. However we assume that
there is no variation in spring constant and the following equation can be applied :


Mechanical Vibration By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34)


E=190 GPa (Young’s Modulus for the silicon).

Mass & Damping Factor

In our design we aim to get a critical damping for our system. The damping force in the accelerometer arises from the so-
called squeeze-film effect, i.e., the interaction of the silicon mass and the air-film trapped in the gap between the mass
and the electrodes. Provided that the “squeeze number” within the bandwidth of the
accelerometer, the damping coefficient can be calculated from [2]:


is the dynamic viscosity of air, and is the atmospheric pressure, is

the area of the air film, and is the driving frequency of a sinusoidal excitation.

Parameters calculation

Since the dumping is directly related to the mass “m” so it is required that the mass should be big enough to confirm to
our sensitivity given and small enough to be compatible with “b” so that we get critical damping.

Equation used are:

The minimum acceleration is given by equation (5):

The damping coefficient is given by equation (9) as:

From equation (6) the capacitance is:

combining both equations gives:


Mechanical Vibration By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34)

Nominal capacitance :

In order to calculate the nominal capacitance we need to combine equations (6) and (7) for the maximum value of
distance “d” which is given in the assumption, thus we get:

(In the range of picofarad (##pF))

The area (A) of the accelerometer:

The area “A” can be calculated form the nominal capacitance “ ”:

The mass “m”:

In order to calculate the mass “m” we need to use a combination between equations (4) and (5) thus we get:

The effective spring constant K:

In order to calculate k the spring constant we need to use equation (7):

$latex a_{max} =\frac{K.d}{m}\Rightarrow K=\frac{a_{max}.m}{ d}


The resonance frequency:

Design the sensing element

At this stage we need to define the sensing elements which consists of the proof mass and suspension system in such a
way, our design will meet any specifications given (Bandwidth, sensitivity, dynamic range, minimum detectable
acceleration). By calculating the length of the beam “L” (as it can be seen in Fig.3.4) and finding out the appropriate values
for the width “w” and thickness ” t” for the beams, the size of the proof mass has to be calculated also and defining the
thickness , the width ; then the Length .

Beam geometry

Mechanical Vibration By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34)

The dimensions of thickness and the width of the beam can be initially chosen by the designer although sometimes are
limited by microfabrication capabilities. However the relationship between the thickness “t” , width “w”, and length “L”
have to obey the following equation [2]:

This capacitive accelerometer contains a cantilevered beam, shown in Figure 3.5, with the following dimensions, where L is
length, W is width, t is thickness. The proof mass with a thickness , a width ; and a Length . A gap which is
the spacing between the substrate and the underside of the beam, is material density, and E is the material Young’s
modulus (eg. Young’s modulus for silicon is )

Proof mass geometry

We know that our proof mass volume is since it is homogeneously parallelepiped with rectangular area
A. volume should be calculated from the Volumic mass density so:

therefore to find the thickness :

Volumic mass density for silicon for example is:

Sensing element dimensions

Mechanical Vibration By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34)

Classification for Micro-machined

The classification of accelerometers is based on transduction mechanisms, the most useful ones are:

 Piezoresistive Accelerometers

A silicon piezoresistor is generally placed at the edge of the rim and proof mass where stress variation is
maximum. This causes change in the resistivity as the beam changes its mechanical state. The structure,
fabrication process and circuitry of these devices are simple. However, they have a larger temperature sensitivity
and smaller overall sensitivity which drops its accuracy.

 Capacitive Accelerometers:

This is based on the gap variation between the proof mass and a fixed electrode which in turn changes the
capacity. The capacitive based accelerometers are preferred for several reasons: simple structure, high
performance, low cost, low power dissipations, high sensitivity and low temperature sensitivity. Although it is
susceptible to electromagnetic interference, good packaging and shielding prove to be the solution.

 Tunnelling Accelerometers:

This type of devices uses a constant tunnelling current between a tip attached to a movable microstructure and its
counter electrode to sense the displacement. The tunnelling current is maintained constant as long as the distance
and tunnelling voltage are unchanged. Once the proof mass moves due to acceleration, the circuit responds by
adjusting the deflection voltage to bring the tip back to its place. Measurement of deflection voltage in this closed
loop system can be used to calculate acceleration. Its drawback is that it is sensitive to low frequency noise.

 Resonant Accelerometers

This is based on transferring proof mass inertial force to axial force on the resonant beams and hence shifting its
frequency. The output is digital and highly sensitive.

 Thermal Accelerometers:

The temperature flux between a heater and heat sink is proportional to the inverse of their separation; hence by
measuring the temperature, the displacement can be also measured.

 Other Accelerometers:

In addition to the above mentioned accelerometers types, there are other devices based on optical,
electromagnetic and piezoelectric principles. The reason behind is to use advantages of both micro-machined and
physical principle like optics are immune to noise and linear.

Mechanical Vibration By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34)

A laser Doppler vibrometer (LDV) is a scientific instrument that is used to make non-contact vibration measurements of a
surface. The laser beam from the LDV is directed at the surface of interest, and the vibration amplitude and frequency are
extracted from the Doppler shift of the laser beam frequency due to the motion of the surface. The output of an LDV is
generally a continuous analog voltage that is directly proportional to the target velocity component along the direction of
the laser beam.

Some advantages of an LDV over similar measurement devices such as an accelerometer are that the LDV can be directed
at targets that are difficult to access, or that may be too small or too hot to attach a physical transducer. Also, the LDV
makes the vibration measurement without mass-loading the target, which is especially important for MEMS devices

Principles of operation
A vibrometer is generally a two beam laser interferometer that measures the frequency (or phase) difference between an
internal reference beam and a test beam. The most common type of laser in an LDV is the helium-neon laser[1], although
laser diodes[2], fiber lasers, and Nd:YAG lasers are also used. The test beam is directed to the target, and scattered light
from the target is collected and interfered with the reference beam on a photo detector, typically a photodiode. Most
commercial vibrometers work in a heterodyne regime by adding a known frequency shift (typically 30–40 MHz) to one of
the beams. This frequency shift is usually generated by a Bragg cell, or acousto-optic modulator.

A schematic of a typical laser vibrometer is shown below. The beam from the laser, which has a frequency fo, is divided
into a reference beam and a test beam with a beam splitter. The test beam then passes through the Bragg cell, which adds
a frequency shift fb. This frequency shifted beam then is directed to the target. The motion of the target adds a Doppler
shift to the beam given by fd = 2*v(t)*cos(α)/λ, where v(t) is the velocity of the target as a function of time, α is the angle
between the laser beam and the velocity vector, and λ is the wavelength of the light.

Basic components of a laser Doppler vibrometer

Mechanical Vibration By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34)

Light scatters from the target in all directions, but some portion of the light is collected by the LDV and reflected by the
beam splitter to the photo detector. This light has a frequency equal to fo + fb + fd. This scattered light is combined with the
reference beam at the photo-detector. The initial frequency of the laser is very high (> 1014 Hz), which is higher than the
response of the detector. The detector does respond, however, to the beat frequency between the two beams, which is at
fb + fd (typically in the tens of MHz range).

The output of the photo detector is a standard frequency modulated (FM) signal, with the Bragg cell frequency as the
carrier frequency, and the Doppler shift as the modulation frequency. This signal can be demodulated to derive the
velocity vs. time of the vibrating target.

Mechanical Vibration By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34)

A machine weighing 200 lbs and supported on spring of total stiffness 400 lb/in, has unbalanced rotating elements which
results in a disturbing force of 80 lbs at a speed of 3000 rpm. Assuming a damping factor of £ = 0.2, determine:

a) Its amplitude of motion due to the unbalance

b) The transitivity

c) The transmitted force.

DATA: Required:

Weight of machine, W = 200 lbs a) Amplitude, X = ?

Spring stiffness, K = 400 lb/in b) Transitivity, TR = ?

Disturbing Force = 80 lbs c) Transmitted force, FIR = ?

Speed, N = 3000 rpm = 50 rps

Viscous damping factor, £ = 0.2


A) Amplitude of motion due to unbalance:

The amplitude of motion due to unbalance is given by the relation shown below.

X 1

Xo  2 2 
[1  ( ) ]  [2  £  ( ) ]2
n n

Or,   -------------------------(A)
[1  ( ) 2 ]2  [2  £  ( ) ]2
n n

Mechanical Vibration By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34)

In the above relation, X o ,  and  n are unknown parameters. Therefore, we determine these first.

For X o :

f 80
Xo   = 0.2 in
K 400

For  :

 = 2πN = 2  50 = 314 rad/sec

For n :

W 200 lb  sec2
m=  = 0.517
g 32.2 12 in

K 400
n =  = 27.82 s 1
m 0.517

Substituting these values in equation (A), we get:-

314 2 2 314
[1  ( ) ]  [2  0.2  ( ) ]2
27.82 27.82

= 0.0016 inch

Mechanical Vibration By Waqas Ali Tunio (07ME34)

B) The Transitivity:

We know that,

 2
1  (2  £  )
TR 
 2 2 
[1  ( ) ]  [2  £  ( ) ]2
n n

314 2
1  (2  0.2  )
= 27.28
314 2 2 314 2
[1  ( ) ]  [2  0.2  ( ) ]
27.28 27.28

= 0.176

C) The Transmitted Force:

We know that,

FIR = f  TR

= 80  0.176

= 14.08 lbs