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Lab 3Engineering Vibrations (MEE 321)

Impact Testing of Cantilever Beam with End Mass

Find the natural frequency and damping of a single degree of freedom (SDOF) cantilever beam. You
will learn:
1. How to use an impact hammer to excite natural frequency in a structure
2. How to find natural frequency of a structure experimentally.
3. How to find damping of a structure experimentally.

Refer to Lab 2 documentation for the single degree-of-freedom vibration analysis. In Lab 2 we gave
initial condition to study the response of the structure. In this lab we will use an impact hammer to
impart an excitation force to the structure and study its response. The impact hammer is intended to
apply an impulse force to the structure. A load cell in the impact hammer provides a measure of the
impact force. Since the impact hammer is handheld it can be hit at different points on the structure to
excite different frequencies.

The impulse response of a single degree of freedom system is given by

= , where
= sin ,
is the unit impulse response, is the equivalent mass in kg of the structure, , and are the
damped and natural frequencies in rad/s, and is the dimensionless damping ratio to be determined
experimentally as in Lab 2. = is the impulse of the force in Ns.

Qty Device (including make and model) Serial #
1 Laptop
1 Power Cord N/A
1 NI 9234
1 NI USB-9162
1 USB-B Cable N/A
1 Unidirectional Accelerometer
1 Microdot to BNC Cable
1 BNC Cable N/A
1 Clamp N/A
2 Aluminum Blocks N/A
1 Aluminum Beam N/A
1 Ruler
1 Micrometer / caliper
1 Scale N/A
1 Beeswax N/A
2 Screws N/A
1 Hex Driver or Screw Driver N/A
1 Impact hammer with various tips N/A

Set-up Procedure
1. Follow the steps in Lab 2 related to setting up a cantilever beam for free vibration test.
2. Connect the impact hammer to the NI 9234 DAQ device.
3. Plug power cord into laptop and power outlet. Plug the NI USB-9162 into the computer using
the USB-B cable. Turn on laptop. Open LabVIEW.

Experimental Procedure:
1. Create a Blank VI.
2. Create DAQ Assistant on to the Block Diagram.
3. Select the channel as acceleration for DAQ assistant.
4. Now the DAQ Assistant window appears in which we select the number of samples and
sample rate.
5. Now click add channel and select force so it takes the reading from the impact hammer.
6. Open two Select signal from Express>signal Manipulation>Signal Select blocks on to the
Block Diagram.
7. Select acceleration to one and force to another in Signal select block.
8. Connect the Signal Select output to different Graphs.
9. For visualizing frequency right click and click on Express>Signal Analysis>Spectral and
place it on the front panel and connect it to acceleration Select Signal and its output to graph.
10. Now go to the Block Diagram and right click and click on waveform>Analog wfm>Waveform
Min Max and place it on Block Diagram.
11. Connect the Waveform Min Max to the output from acceleration select signal.
12. Now connect the Waveform Min Max to the respective Numeric Indicators (Which can be
created on Front panel) to show the time stamp and Maximum and Minimum values.
13. Repeat the same for the Force Wave form also.
14. Screw in the soft (black) tip onto the hammerhead and hit the end with the tip on the table.
Wait for the output to appear in each of the waveform graphs. (This is just for the comparison
of the Hard and Soft Tip Outputs.)
15. Screw in the hard (white) tip onto the hammerhead and hit the end with the tip on the table.
Wait for the output to appear in each of the waveform graphs. Record the signal versus time
and power spectral values
16. Using both the soft tip and hard tip hit on the block at the end of the beam. Wait for the output
to appear in each of the waveform graphs. Record the signal versus time and power spectral
17. Record the value of natural frequency from frequency graph and values of , , and t1, t2
from time domain graph. In the power spectrum, as before, we expect that the natural
frequency is the frequency that has the most energy. This corresponds to the frequency that
has the maximum amplitude. is the Impact time from Force graph.
18. Using the soft tip only, hit the beam at different positions along its length from the block.
Record the force versus time signal.
Data collection:
Description Value Units
Mass of blocks, Screws and accelerometer
Mass of Beam
Width of beam
Thickness of beam
Total Length of beam
Effective Length of beam

The standard deviation for each value should correspond to multiple readings, one each by every
member of the lab group. A trial corresponds to a single hammer hit to the cantilever rod.

Trial 1 (soft) 2 (soft) 3 (soft) 1 (hard) 2 (hard) 3 (hard)


Trial 1 (soft) 2 (soft) 3 (soft) 1 (hard) 2 (hard) 3 (hard)


Measure the natural frequency and calculate the damping ratio.
For the hits on the table, compute an approximate value of the area under the curve for the impulse

Trial rad/s rad/s rad/s % error
(experiment) (theoretical) (theoretical) (experiment)
1 (soft)
2 (soft)
3 (soft)
1 (hard)
2 (hard)
3 (hard)
Handout Questions
1. Please submit a screenshot of your front panel and your block diagram.
2. Please submit your data tables, your log decrement calculation and results table. Also, analyze
the results in discussion section
3. Is the time history plot of the impulse hammer a perfect delta function? If not, why?
4. Is the value of area under the curve for the impulse response similar or different between the
two types of hammer tips?
5. Is the force versus time response different for different tips? How and why?
6. Is the shape of the power spectrum from the two hammer tips as they were struck on the table
same or different? Why?
7. Discuss the graphs generated when hitting the hammer at different positions on the beam?
8. The values of damping ratio, natural frequency and damped frequency should be same from
different hammer tips. Explain any differences you see.
9. Explain any difference in the force graph when hitting the beam at different positions along
its length. Do you see multiple peaks? Suggest a mathematical form to capture such an
10. In this experiment, we hit the beam at different positions along its length, while keeping the
accelerometer mounted to measure the acceleration in the vertical direction. This will only
reveal the corresponding vertical mode of excitation of this structure. What change to the
experiment would you propose in order to capture the different modes of the beam structure?
11. Another exciter device that is often used in in vibration testing is a Shaker. A shaker is a
device that is excited using an electromagnetic or electrohydraulic signal as the test structure
is attached to it. The excitation signal can be of various types including swept sinusoidal and
random. Compared to an impact hammer, what type of analysis do you expect to perform
with a shaker? (Hint: think about the type of force input provided in each case, and what type
of frequencies are therefore excited for analysis)