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First Draft Final Copy Brian Gilkey gilkeybr@msu.edu 009/A Monday 11:20-2:20 Chris Clarke September 27, 2010 Abstract

The results of this lab very closely followed the theoretical results that were expected. Once the spring was displaced. Nomenclature English Symbols: .g. and the level of damping could modify the results even further.2 The purpose of the Free Vibrations lab was to look at the behavior of a spring-mass system as it went through oscillations after a force was applied. e. This is useful information because it helps in understanding the way spring and mass systems would act in critical situations. Later in the experiment a damper was added to the system resulting in different behaviors of the oscillations. By greatly increasing the damping. This indicates that the results were very consistent with what should have been discovered. the requisite amount the mass was released resulting in multiple oscillations of approximately the same magnitude. the number of oscillations could be cut to very small levels. Using the VI “Scope” program it was possible to record the displacement of the weighted and sprung carriage in terms of time as well as the forces experienced within the system and the phase-plane graph. It was found that a damper can greatly reduce the number of oscillations in a vibrating system. a vehicle suspension.

81 Meters/second2) k: Spring Constant (Newtons/Meter) m: Mass (Kilograms) t: Time (seconds) Greek Symbols: δs: Static Deflection (Meters) ζ: Damping Ratio (Unitless) π: Pi (3. Introduction Lab Observations 5 6 . II.3 c: Viscous Damping Coefficient (Newton-Second/Meter) f: Frequency in Hertz (Hz) (1/time) g: Acceleration due to Gravity (9.1416) ωd: Damped Natural Frequency (Hertz) ωn: Natural Frequency (Hertz) Table of Contents I.

V.4 III. IV. If it is possible to understand how vibrations occur and how they affect a structure. VI. shelter and transportation. It applies to two of the most critical aspects of human culture. VII. it is possible to better design . Results Discussion Conclusion References Appendix 9 11 12 13 14 Introduction The study of vibrations is a very interesting and critical area of research.

Photo before the Tacoma Narrows bridge failure By determining the natural vibrating frequencies of the system and any inherent damping involved in the system. The most obvious example of this is the Tacoma Narrows bridge failure. This relation was given by the equation . which will be examined further in the observations and results.5 that structure to cope with the stresses caused by vibrations. Figure 1. Also. Studying how systems resonate will enlighten you into how they will behave when affected by multiple sources of vibrating energy. this lab is important in using various ways to examine vibrations. Lab Observations This experiment was setup to be run in three different steps. It is important to understand the effects of mass of a structure and its effect on the vibrating frequency. The first step would be to determine the effect of different masses and different spring strengths on the natural frequency of the system. By doing this it is possible to decide which is the most accurate or the most effective method to do this in future studies. This is valuable as it gave the study a very good insight into the effects of changing the mass in a system as to how it behaves. it is possible create a better design capable of handling greater stress.

it was possible to determine other important quantities such as the damping coefficient as well as the damping ratio. The results compared very favorably to the theoretical results. based on the equation ωd = ωn* 1-ζ2 (7) Once this information was recorded the experiment was then changed to looking at the forces involved in the spring-mass system once it was connected to a damper. δs δs = m*gk (3) (2) (1) From these equations it is possible to go back and determine the frequency simply by taking the reciprocal of T. it was possible to get the experimental results for all these equations. Also. as well as the corresponding force applied by the . It was possible to determine the force exerted by the spring. Also for this portion of the experiment we were able to find the experimental period of the system. or f = 12π*km = 12π* gδs (4) By examining the graphical results from the VI. and compare is to the theoretical period given by the equal T = 2*π*mk You could also solve this equation based on the static deflection.6 ωn2 =km This equation shows that the natural frequency is dependent on the root of the spring constant divided by the mass. once a damper was connected to the system. ζ = c2*m*ωn (5) Another valuable equation for this experiment is for solving the log decrement Ln X1X1+s=2* π*s*ζ (6) This data was then valuable in that it allows the damped natural frequency to be calculated.

Initially. This was done by replacing the bolt that was removed initially. the damper is referred to as a dashpot piston. The amount of damping in the system was simply adjusted by spinning a small dial on the top of the dashpot piston. Also. This was interesting as it shows the offset between the spring force and when the damper begins to apply force to the system (offset to some degree). such as the oscillating frequency. For this part. Lastly. This study gives a very accurate look at the amount of energy that being dissipated from the system with every oscillation. the higher the damping in the system would be. it was important to make sure that there were 6 clear oscillations in the system to get a good approximation of what was going on. you must be certain to input the correct values into the computer program to ensure accurate results. the weight and spring constant were set to a predetermined level (5kg on the platform and 3300 N/m). each time altering the amount of mass of the total system as well as the spring constant. so this was disconnected from the springmass system being mindful not to drop the bolt in the damper. This concluded the first portion of the experiment. This expanded a small rubber ring that decreased the amount of distance between the piston and the cylinder wall. The smaller the gap. the testing would be done without the use of a damper.7 damper. which is what should be expected intuitively. not just the weight that was added externally. Next. It is useful in determining the ideal damping coefficient for a given system. so it was now time to reconnect the damper to the system. From here a series of three tests were run. the experiment focused on the phase-plane plot for the vibration. After the three tests were done the information was viewed and analyzed in order to determine some critical values. All of this information is very valuable in the study of a given structure or system. After this . For this part. Setting up the experiment for this series of tests was fairly straight forward. Careful notes have to be taken in these steps as you must be certain to record the proper spring constant as well as counting the total mass of the system.

The results would show up in the VI plot. From equation (1) we could compute the theoretical frequency. For the second part of the experiment we were examining the forces involved in the system. The test was run a few times to get the feel for how the level of damping affected the phase plane plot. The results are interesting and followed the expected values very closely. This setup was recorded once and recorded in the VI so that the reaction to the forces could be examined. This was recorded by two sensors in the system: one below the damper and one above the spring setup. Results and Discussion The first portion of the experiment was testing the effects of spring constant and mass in the behavior of an oscillating spring-mass system. This information was then used to compute some theoretical values. and using those functions it was possible to determine the experimental natural frequency. This is a good representation of the amount of energy being dissipated from the system with each oscillation.8 the values recorded in the VI were entered into Excel and it was possible to determine the damping ratio of the system. The last part of the experiment was to look at the phase plane plot for the oscillations. These are compared in the below chart Table 1: Experimental and Theoretical Natural Frequencies . The amount of weight and the spring constant were kept constant from the last part of the experiment.

933 2. it shows that the damping is linear. The results from this test are as seen below Table 2: Log Decrement Data Sheet Displ. the numbers were plugged into excel. is equal to .1 23.216 s=5 1. This effect of friction and other sources would be called linear damping. By doing this we end up determining that ζ is equal to . 3142. there would be no damping effect and the system once displaced and released would oscillate endlessly without ever decreasing in deflection. In order to compare the accuracy of this answer.855 s=4 2.0500 and that the log decrement.9 1220 16.96 17. It could be as simple as a measuring error when looking at the computer screen.59 s=3 3 0. Also.023 Using this set of numbers and equation it is possible to solve for the damping ratio.687 5.314 5 s=2 3. X1+s (cm) ln (X1/X1+s) s=0 7.053 0 s=1 5.9 Mas Spring Experimental Natural Theoretical Natural s Constant Frequency (ωn (rad/sec)) Frequency (ωd (rad/sec)) (kg) (N/m) 2.9 3300 25. very small amounts of friction in the system would cause a damping like effect which would slightly change the results for the experimental data.9 470 12.09 1. The next portion of the lab was to look at the effects of a damper on the system.86 12. In an ideal situation. For this the damper was connected and then the displacement of the carriage for each succeeding oscillation was recorded.73 3. This is different than viscous damping because in viscous damping the amplitude of the oscillations would decrease exponentially as time went on. δ.53 1. By .15 0. and the reasons for the minor differences are vast. Because the decreases are not as great in our plots.528 s=6 0.65 From this plot you can see just how closely the actual system compares to our theoretical calculations.91 0. The results are nearly exact in their comparison.

The results were printed out for this portion to show the exact comparison of time and displacement of the system. we were able to get ζ from excel. For the damped system this behaved exactly as would be expected. The fact that the percent error is so low (approximately 4%) shows that the experimental results are very accurate and there weren’t many measurement errors. If we were to be able to design a system that had absolutely no damping effect what so ever. If damping is increased. Unfortunately. There are benefits to each method of solving this problem. So if you were interested in the utmost accuracy. . resulting in a more rapidly decaying spiral.). the oscillations become lower. It would simply be a circle with the same displacement from the origin at any point in time.10 creating a plot and then developing a trend line of all six points. as you don’t have to take time to enter values into a table or to form the proper plot. there would be no spiral to the plot. resulting in a spiral looking plot. which ended up being . This is a straight forward calculation. etc. the oscillations got smaller and smaller. The experimental damping natural frequency was 22.0518. which was 21. But. it is imperative that the extra time is taken to do the excel variant and get the most accurate response possible. This is compared to our computed damping frequency. sound.43 rad/sec. This is very close in value to what we computed from equation (6). The first method is much faster. This is to be expected as the higher damping is releasing more energy. Next. the excel version is clearly more accurate as it uses all six values to get an answer as opposed to just two. as discussed earlier. As the time increased. The last part of the lab was the phase plane analysis.53 rad/sec. and it resulted in a similar answer. using equation (7) the experimental damping frequency was compared to the theoretical damping frequency. it is impossible to create such a system as there will always be energy released in the form of vibrations (heat.

While it is true that real world experience is the only true form of accurate data. Or it could be used in the study of buildings and bridges and how they would react to winds or earth quakes. Conclusions 1)The most important thing to understand is the effects of mass and spring constant on the frequency of a system.11 As described earlier there are many valuable uses of this type of study. it is very easy to get a close estimate of how the system will behave just by doing theoretical calculations. The most obvious examples would be in transportation. as well as the effects of damping that happen in a system. This would help to develop a safer. etc. meaning less design work . This information is critical in accurately designing a system that can withstand all the forces that it may encounter. structure. such as automobiles or trains. This means that the system can be built close to how it needs to be built on the first try. etc. 2) Theoretical answers very closely follow the experimental results of the system. Determining the right damping for a car suspension so that the ride is supple yet doesn’t bounce too much over bumps is very valuable. it would be valuable in the study buildings and bridges and how they would react to wind and oscillations caused by natural events such as earth quakes. more robust. etc. Also.

N. as well as less time spent in getting everything correct.. Both of these things are ideal in a real world situation as it will increase your profits as well as the time you have available to take on other projects. 1999. 2010.p.3142 . Tom.9)^.73 rad/sec Equation 6: .5 = 12. 29 Dec. This would mean less money spent in the long run on designing the system. 22 Sept. THE TACOMA NARROWS BRIDGE FAILURE Revision A. Appendix Sample calculations: Equation 1: Natural Frequency = (470/2. References Irvine.3145 = 2(1)(π)(ζ) ζ=.0500 δ = 2(π)(ζ) Equation 7: δ=. Web.12 and fewer revisions to get a properly reacting system.

13 Damping Frequency = 21.53 rad/sec .5 = 21.56 (1-ζ^2)^.

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