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There are at least eleven parameters commonly used to express damping. Cross-reference

formulas are given in Tables 1A through 1C. The formulas are taken from Reference 1.

Let n be the natural frequency in units of radians per second. Note that n = 2 f n , where f n

is in units of Hertz.

Table 1A. Damping Reference

Parameter

3 dB

Bandwidth

(rad/sec)

3 dB Bandwidth

_

(rad/sec)

3 dB Bandwidth

f (Hz)

Damping

Frequency fd

(Hz)

Loss Factor

Fraction of

Critical Damping

Quality Factor Q

Decay Constant

(1/sec)

Time Constant

(sec)

Reverberation

Time RT60 (sec)

Decay Rate D

(dB/sec)

Logarithmic

Decrement

fd =

4

3 dB

Bandwidth f

(Hz)

Damping

Frequency fd

(Hz)

Loss Factor

= 2 f

= 4fd

= n

f =

2 n

Q= n

=

2

2

=

13.8

RT60 =

D = 4.34

=

fd =

n

2

fd =

n

4

f

2

2 f

n

f = 2 f d

f =

4 fd

n

f

n

n

Q=

2 f

2 fd

n

Q= n

4 fd

= f

1

=

f

2.2

RT60 =

f

D = 27.3 f

= 2 fd

1

=

2fd

1 .1

RT60 =

fd

D = 54.6 fd

22 f

n

42 fd

n

2

1

Q=

= n

2

2

=

n

13.8

RT60 =

n

=

D = 4.34 n

Parameter

Fraction of

Critical

Damping

3 dB Bandwidth

= 2 n

(rad/sec)

3 dB Bandwidth

f (Hz)

Damping

Frequency fd

(Hz)

Loss Factor

Fraction of

Critical Damping

Quality Factor Q

fd = n

2

f =

= 2

_

Q=

1

2

Decay Constant

(1/sec)

= n

Time Constant

(sec)

Reverberation

Time RT60 (sec)

Decay Rate D

(dB/sec)

Logarithmic

Decrement

n

6.9

RT60 =

n

D = 8.68 n

= 2

Quality

Factor Q

n

Q

f = n

2 Q

fd = n

4 Q

=

1

Q

1

=

2Q

Decay

Constant

(1/sec)

= 2

fd =

2

f =

2

n

=

n

Q=

n

2Q

2Q

n

13.8 Q

RT60 =

n

4.34 n

D=

Q

=

Q

=

n

2

_

1

6.9

RT60 =

2

D = 8.68

Time Constant

(sec)

1

f =

1

fd =

2

=

2

n

1

=

n

n

2

1

=

Q=

2

n

_

RT60 = 6.9

8.68

2

=

n

D=

Parameter

Reverberation

Time RT60

(sec)

3 dB Bandwidth

13.8

=

(rad/sec)

RT60

3 dB Bandwidth

2.2

f =

f (Hz)

RT60

Damping

1.1

fd =

Frequency fd

RT60

(Hz)

13.8

Loss Factor

=

n RT60

Fraction of

6.90

=

Critical Damping

n RT60

Quality Factor Q

RT

Q = n 60

13.8

Decay Constant

6.90

=

(1/sec)

RT60

Time Constant

(sec)

Reverberation

Time RT60 (sec)

Decay Rate D

(dB/sec)

Logarithmic

Decrement

RT60

6.90

_

60

RT60

43.4

=

n RT60

D=

Decay Rate D

(dB/sec)

D

4.34

D

f =

27.3

D

fd =

54.5

Logarithmic

Decrement

=

f =

fd =

22

n

42

D

4.34 n

D

=

8.68 n

=

2

4.34 n

D

D

=

8.68

8.68

=

D

60

RT60 =

D

_

= n

2

2

=

n

43.4

RT60 =

n

Q=

D

4.34 n

Q=

D = 1.38 n

_

Reference

1. Svend Gade and Henrik Herlufsen, "Digital Filter versus FFT Techniques for Damping

Measurement," Sound and Vibration, Bay Village, Ohio, March 1990.

________________________________________________________________________

The purpose of this tutorial is to give typical damping values for various materials and

systems.

The data in Tables 1 and 2 is taken from Reference 1.

Table 1.

Static Properties of Materials under Standard Conditions

(approx. 20 C).

Elastic

Shear

Material

Density Modulus Modulus Poissons

3

2

2

Ratio

(kg/m )

(N/m )

(N/m )

Aluminum

0.34

0.43

0.30

0.31

0.423

0.35

0.29

0.33

0.30

0.37

0.38

0.33

0.39

2700

72 (10 )

11,300

17 (10 )

6 (10 )

Iron

77 (10 )

Steel

77 (10 )

Lead

Gold

19,300

27 (10 )

80 (10 )

28 (10 )

Copper

46 (10 )

Magnesium

1740

43 (10 )

Brass

8500

95 (10 )

36 (10 )

Nickel

77 (10 )

Silver

9

9

17 (10 )

10,500

80 (10 )

Bismuth

9800

3.3 (10 )

1.3 (10 )

Zinc

7130 13.1(109)

5 (10 )

Tin

7280

4.4 (10 )

29 (10 )

1.6 (10 )

Table 2.

Dynamic Properties of Materials under Standard Conditions (approx. 20 C)

Propagation

Propagation

Material

Velocity of

Velocity of

Longitudinal Loss

Longitudinal

Torsional

Factor

Wave in a Rod Wave

(meters/sec)

(meters/sec)

Aluminum

5200

3100

0.3 to 10 10 5

Lead

(pure)

Lead

(including

antimony)

Iron

5050

3100

Steel

5100

3100

Gold

2000

1200

Copper

(polycrystalline)

Copper

(single crystal)

Magnesium

1250

730

( )

5 to 30 (10 2 )

( )

1 to 4 (10 4 )

0.2 to 3 (10 4 )

3 (10 4 )

2 (10 3 )

2 to 7 (10 4 )

10 4

2 10 2

1 to 4 10 3

3700

2300

5000

3100

Brass

3200

2100

Nickel

4800

2900

Silver

2700

1600

580

360

Zinc

1350

850

Tin

780

470

Bismuth

Flexural Loss

Factor

0.2 to 1 10 3

2 to 6 10 4

4 10 4

Notes:

1. Some loss factors are unavailable.

2. The relationship between the loss factor and the viscous damping ratio is:

= 2 .

( )

2 103

10 4

< 103

< 103

)

8 (10 4 )

3 (10 4 )

20 (10 4 )

(

< 3 103

Table 3. Representative Damping Ratios

System

Metals (in elastic range)

Viscous Damping

Ratio

<0.01

0.02 to 0.04

0.03 to 0.07

0.0004

0.01 to 0.02

0.02 to 0.03

0.30

Rubber

0.05

0.01 to 0.05

0.02 to 0.05

0.04 to 0.07

Table 4. Material Damping Ratios (Bare Structure)

System

Viscous Damping

Ratio

Reinforced Concrete

Small Stress Intensity (uncracked)

0.007 to 0.010

0.010 to 0.040

(fully cracked but no yielding of reinforcement)

0.005 to 0.008

0.04 to 0.07

0.008 to 0.012

Composite

0.002 to 0.003

Steel

0.001 to 0.002

C.1

Reinforced Concrete

Min.

Mean

Max.

0.008

0.013

0.020

Prestressed Concrete

0.005

0.010

0.017

Composite

0.003

0.006

Steel

0.002

0.004

Construction Type

1.1

Construction Type

Min.

Mean

Max.

Reinforced concrete

Steel

0.010

0.007

0.015

0.010

0.020

0.013

0.020

0.015

0.025

0.020

0.030

0.025

Buildings ( h ~ 50 m)

Reinforced concrete

Steel

3.1

The damping values in the tables should be used with caution. There are many types of

damping, such as viscous, hysteresis, acoustic coupling, air pumping at joints, energy

radiation to the soil, etc. Also, boundaries and bearings contribute damping.

Furthermore, structures have many modes. Each mode may have a unique damping

value.

References

1.

1988.

2.

Analysis, OnWord Press, Santa Fe, N.M., 1999.

3.

1995.

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