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Forced Vibrations

• Forced vibrations are vibrations where an external excitation in form of (force or displacement)
is continuously applied to the system.
• Examples are vibrations due to rotating unbalance of machines, earthquake, an automobile or an
aircraft traveling on an uneven road/runway, vibration testing & experiments & vibration
measurements (sensor applications).
• The governing DE will be linear, second order & non homogenous whose general solution is
composed of two parts (1) homogenous solution (which will decay with time and hence is
transient) (2) particular solution which will be steady in time and is due to the applied excitation.
•In forced vibration cases we therefore seek the particular solution only.
• The external excitation can be harmonic,
non harmonic but periodic or random in time.
• If the applied excitation is harmonic the
response will essentially be harmonic. Homogenous sol (transient decay)


Particular sol (steady state)

Building vibration measurements with

accelerometer (forced vibrations)
Forging process (forced vibrations)
General solution (sum)
Undamped Harmonic Forced Vibration Response
Since the excitation is harmonic the particular sol will also be
harmonic with the same frequency.

FBD (i.e. a constant X multiplied by cosωt)

ẋp = -Xωsinωt, ẍp = -Xω2cosωt & x = Xcosωt
Put ẍ & x in (1) and solve for X

Newton’s 2nd law for translation (∑F = mẍ)

mẍ + kx = F(t) (F(t) = Fo cosωt) where Fo/k = δst = static deflection under Fo.
ω/ωn = r = frequency ratio.
Homogenous DE will be:
mẍ + kx = 0
General solution is:
The general solution
Let the initial conditions be: x(t=0) = xo & ẋ(t=0) = ẋo

ẋ(t) = C2 ωncosωnt - C1 ωnsinωnt - ωFosinωt/(k-mω2)

we get:

Finally the sol is:

Where, Also,
• X/δst = Magnification Factor
• ω/ωn = r = Frequency Ratio
Case No. 1 (0 < r < 1)
• If r is greater than 0 but less than 1 the denominator of X/δst = 1/(1-r2) will be +ve or
in other words X/δst will be +ve.
• The response x(t) = Xcosωt will be exactly in phase with the applied excitation F(t).

0< r <1

•Note that in phase means both the applied

excitation and the response will reach their
maximum & minimum values together in time.
Case No. 2 (r > 1)
• When r is greater than 1 the denominator of X/δst = 1/(1-r2) will become -ve or in
other words X/δst will be -ve.
• The response is now given by x(t) = - Xcosωt.
• The response x(t) is now 180o out of phase with the excitation F(t).

• Also note that as r increases i.e.

r ∞ X 0.
• Therefore, response to harmonic
excitations of very high frequency is
close to zero.


X tends to zero as r increases.

Good in terms of vibration.

• Note 180o out of phase means that when F(t) will be +ve X will be
–ve and vice versa. However both quantities will still reach their
maximum and minimum at same time
Case No. 3 (r = 1)
• When r is equal to 1 this means excitation frequency is exactly equal to system’s natural
frequency (i.e. Resonance).
• If resonance will occur the amplitude X will become infinite. (to be avoided)

Lets find the equation of the response x(t) at resonance:

r =1 (previously)

Rearranging and using:

𝐹𝑜 𝑥ሶ 𝐹𝑜
𝑥 𝑡 = 𝑥𝑜 𝑐𝑜𝑠𝜔𝑛 𝑡 − cosωnt + 𝜔𝑜 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝜔𝑛 𝑡 + 𝑐𝑜𝑠ω𝑡
𝑘−𝑚𝜔2 𝑛 𝑘−𝑚𝜔2

Note that if ω = ωn the last term gets theoretically infinity (indefinite).

• In order to remove the indefinite form of x(t) we can estimate the form of the last term as a
limit ω ωn.
• Using L’ Hospital rule we can write as follows.

Therefore, finally for r =1 the response can be written as:

Plot of
It can be seen that the response increases
linearly with time.