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Cantilever Beam Vibration Test

David Clark

Group 1

MAE 449 – Aerospace Laboratory

Abstract

The following exercise observes the lateral modes of vibration of a thin steel cantilever specimen.

Using accurate geometric and material properties, the natural frequency response for the cantilever

beam can be calculated. For the steel beam used in the experiment, the first natural response was

approximately 8.5 Hz. The experimental error experienced at low frequencies was as much as 50%,

however at high frequencies, the error was only 5%.

2|Page

Contents

Abstract .................................................................................................................................................. 2

Introduction and Background................................................................................................................. 4

Introduction........................................................................................................................................ 4

Equipment and Procedure ..................................................................................................................... 6

Equipment .......................................................................................................................................... 6

Experiment Setup ............................................................................................................................... 6

Basic Procedure .................................................................................................................................. 6

Data, Calculations, and Analysis ............................................................................................................. 6

Experimental Results and Error .............................................................................................................. 7

Discussion and Conclusions .................................................................................................................... 8

References ............................................................................................................................................ 10

MathCAD Work..................................................................................................................................... 10

3|Page

**Introduction and Background
**

Introduction

The following laboratory procedure outlines a method for observing and measuring several

lateral modes of vibration of a thin steel cantilever specimen.

To study the vibration modes, an imaginary cut can be made through the cross section of a

cantilever beam. At this cutting plane, the reactions can be expressed as a shear force and a bending

moment under a simple point-load configuration. Using simple identities from intermediate mechanics

of materials, the displacement for any lateral section of the beam can be determined. Using calculus to

find the conditions at which these displacements are maximized, the natural frequencies for a specific

geometry with certain properties can be determined. More specifically, the natural frequency is

ultimately a function of the following parameters.

•

E : The modulus of elasticity

•

I : The moment of inertia perpendicular to the bending axis.

•

ρ : A derived parameter representing the mass per unit length of the beam

•

l : The length of the beam

**For a simply supported beam, the following relation may be derived.
**

݀ସ ݕ

− ߚସ = ݕ0

݀ ݔସ

Equation 1

**where the parameter ϐ represents
**

ߚସ = ߩ

߱ଶ

ܫܧ

Equation 2

**Using boundary conditions and knowledge of solving differential equations, the solution can be
**

expressed using trigonometric expressions.

coshሺߚ݈ሻ cosሺߚ݈ሻ + 1 = 0

Equation 3

4|Page

This solution can now easily be solved numerically. The graph and table below visualizes the output

of equation 3, as well as solves for the values of ϐl.

**Equation 3 Graphical Results
**

400

300

200

Result

100

0

-100 0

5

10

15

20

-200

-300

-400

ϐl

Figure 1

1.875103894221328

ۍ4.694091132974175 ې

ێ

ۑ

7.854757438237613 ۑ

ߚ݈ = ێ

݀ܽݎ

ێ10.995540734875467ۑ

ێ14.13716839104647 ۑ

ۏ17.278759532088237ے

Equation 4

Mode

angle (βl)

angle (βl)2

cosh(βl)

cos(βl)

1

2

3

4

5

6

1.8751038942E+00

4.6940911330E+00

7.8547574382E+00

1.0995540735E+01

1.4137168391E+01

1.7278759532E+01

3.5160146141E+00

2.2034491565E+01

6.1697214414E+01

1.2090191605E+02

1.9985953012E+02

2.9855553097E+02

3.3374178330E+00

5.4654287011E+01

1.2889850544E+03

2.9803870738E+04

6.8970635290E+05

1.5960258579E+07

-2.9963262857E-01

-1.8296826374E-02

-7.7580418530E-04

-3.3552688870E-05

-1.4498923301E-06

-6.2655664442E-08

Mode

1

2

3

4

5

6

cosh(βl) x cos(βl)

-9.9999927793E-01

-1.0000000000E+00

-1.0000000000E+00

-1.0000000020E+00

-9.9999995109E-01

-1.0000006059E+00

cosh(βl) x cos(βl) + 1

7.2206555923E-07

-2.6223467842E-13

3.3504310437E-12

-2.0044048643E-09

4.8913099682E-08

-6.0591884488E-07

ωn/ω1

1.0000000000E+00

6.2668941921E+00

1.7547485203E+01

3.4386067557E+01

5.6842633507E+01

8.4913051774E+01

fn/f1

1.0000000000E+00

6.2668941921E+00

1.7547485203E+01

3.4386067557E+01

5.6842633507E+01

8.4913051774E+01

Table 1

5|Page

**Equipment and Procedure
**

Equipment

The following experiment used the following equipment:

•

Thin steel beam approximately 9” x 1” x 0.016”

•

Piezoelectric material

•

Variable electronic function generator

•

Calipers / Ruler

•

Cantilever fixture

Experiment Setup

The steel beam is secured by the cantilever fixture. The piezoelectric material is mounted on the

beam such that an electrical pulse may cause the beam to flex upon receiving a pulse from the wave

generator.

Basic Procedure

The electronic function generator is adjusted to output varying pulse outputs. The beam is

monitored as the range is adjusted. Upon outputting a natural frequency of the beam, the steel will flex

a noticeable amount at low frequencies. Adjusting the output between small ranges allows for the

discovery of a natural harmonic response. At higher frequencies, the arrival at a natural response will

cause the beam to emit audible noise.

The frequencies at which both phenomena occur are recorded as the experimental natural

frequencies.

**Data, Calculations, and Analysis
**

The dimensions of the beam were measured as follows:

•

Length, L = 9.125 inches, or 2.318x10-1 m

•

Width, W = 1.206 inches, or 3.063x10-2 m

•

Thickness, T = 0.41mm, or 4.1x10-4 m

**The modulus of elasticity and density of steel are as follows:
**

•

E = 2.034x1011 Pa

6|Page

•

ρsteel = 7.85x103 kg/m3

**The moment of inertia for the cross-sectional area perpendicular to the axis of bending, I, is
**

=ܫ

1

1

ሺ3.063 × 10ିଶ ݉ሻሺ4.1 × 10ିସ ݉ሻଷ = 1.759 × 10ିଵଷ ݉ସ

ܹ ܶଷ =

12

12

Equation 5

The volume of the beam, which is used later to find the mass of the beam, can both be

expressed as

**ܸ = = ܶ × ܹ × ܮሺ2.318 × 10ିଵ ݉ሻሺ3.063 × 10ିଵ ݉ሻሺ4.1 × 10ିସ ݉ሻ = 2.911 × 10ି ݉ଷ
**

Equation 6

݉ܽߩ = ݏݏ௦௧ ܸ = ൬7.85 × 10ଷ

݇݃

൰ ሺ2.911 × 10ି ݉ଷ ሻ = 2.285 × 10ିଶ ݇݃

݉ଷ

Equation 7

The derived parameter, ρ, is therefore

**݉ܽ ݏݏ2.285 × 10ିଶ ݇݃
**

݇݃

ߩ=

=

=

0.099

2.318 × 10ିଵ ݉

ܮ

݉ଷ

Equation 8

**The natural frequency, finally, can be found using the following equation.
**

ܫܧ

߱ = ሺߚ ܮሻଶ ඨ ସ

ߩܮ

Equation 9

**Substituting the previous values into equation 8, the natural frequencies of the beam can be
**

expressed as

߱ೌ

6.276

ۍ39.33ې

ێ

ۑ

110.1ۑ

=ێ

ݖܪ

ێ215.8ۑ

ێ356.7ۑ

ۏ532.9ے

Equation 10

**Experimental Results and Error
**

7|Page

**The following frequencies were recorded as the natural frequencies using the experimental
**

procedure explained previously.

߱ೌೠೌ

8.5

ۍ23 ې

ێ

ۑ

130ۑ

=ێ

ݖܪ

ێ230ۑ

ێ370ۑ

ۏ560ے

Equation 11

35.4

ۍ41.5ې

ห߱ೌ − ߱ೌೠೌ ห ێ18.0ۑ

ۑ%

= ݎݎݎܧ

=ێ

߱ೌ

ێ6.58ۑ

ێ3.72ۑ

ۏ5.09ے

**Discussion and Conclusions
**

The table below catalogs the results.

Mode

1

2

3

4

5

6

ftheory

6.276

39.33

110.1

215.8

356.7

532.9

fexperimental

8.5

23

130

230

370

560

fexpected

8.5

53.3

149.2

292.3

483.2

721.8

ωtheory ωexperimental

39.4

53.4

247.1

144.5

691.8

816.8

1355.9

1445.1

2241.2

2324.8

3348.3

3518.6

ωexpected

53.4

334.7

937.2

1836.5

3035.8

4535.0

Table 2

8|Page

**Natural Frequency Modes
**

800

700

Frequency (Hz)

600

500

400

ftheory

300

fexperimental

fexpected

200

100

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

Mode

Figure 2

**Natural Frequency (in rad/s)
**

5000

4500

Response (rad/s)

4000

3500

3000

2500

ωtheory

2000

ωexperimental

1500

ωexpected

1000

500

0

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Mode

Figure 3

9|Page

References

“Structures Lab 1 – Cantilever Beam Vibration Test.” Handout

MathCAD Work

**The length of the beam
**

−1

L := 9.125in = 2.31775 × 10

−2

W := 1.206in = 3.0632 × 10

−4

T := 0.00041m = 4.1 × 10

m

m

m

**Modulus of Elasticity for the beam
**

6

11

E := 29.5⋅ 10 psi = 2.034 × 10

Pa

Moment of inertia

I :=

1

12

3

− 13

⋅ W⋅ T = 1.759 × 10

4

⋅m

**The density of steel
**

ρSteel := 7.85

gm

3

3 kg

= 7.85 × 10

cm

3

m

**The volume of the beam
**

−6

V := L⋅ W⋅ T = 2.911 × 10

3

⋅m

**The mass of the beam
**

−2

mass := ρSteel⋅ V = 2.285 × 10

kg

**The parameter, ρ, which is mass per length
**

ρlength :=

mass

L

= 0.099

kg

m

10 | P a g e

**γ, which I will use for the right hand side of the natural frequency equation
**

E⋅ I

gam :=

4

ρlength⋅ L

= 11.215

1

s

The product of βl,

1.875103894221328

4.694091132974175

7.854757438237613

βl :=

⋅ rad

10.995540734875467

14.13716839104647

17.278759532088237

The natural frequencies are, therefore...

39.432

247.115

691.929

rad

2

3 ⋅

ωnthrad := ( βl) ⋅ ( gam) =

1.356

10

×

s

3

2.241 × 10

3

3.348 × 10

6.276

39.33

110.124

1

ωnth := ωnthrad⋅

=

⋅ Hz

215.799

2⋅ π rad

356.731

532.894

11 | P a g e

8.5

23

130

ωnexp :=

Hz

230

370

560

35.442

−41.52

Error :=

ωnexp − ωnth

ωnth

18.049

=

6.581

⋅%

3.72

5.087

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