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1

SIMULATION OF A SPRING MASS


DAMPER SYSTEM
USING MATLAB

A Project work in partial fulfillment of the requirements for award


of B.Sc Engineering

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty of Engineering

University of Lagos, Akoka

Yaba, Lagos

Nigeria

November 2009
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ABSTRACT

The spring mass damper can be built or represented on the computer instead of going to the
workshop to fabricate such system and its performance under various conditions can also be
observed without having to subject the real system to these conditions hence, you save materials
and money, since the system can be used countless times. Energy is also saved because such
system is more easily built on a computer than physically. Moreover, it may be very difficult to
measure some outputs of some systems such as displacement but such values can be measured
with ease through simulation.

With this project, we aim to investigate the performance of a spring mass damper system, under
various conditions, through modeling, without having to subject the real system to these
conditions. The results are obtained in visual forms so that they can be readily interpreted and
discussed.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER TITLE PAGE

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT iii
ABSTRACT iv
TABLE OF CONTENTS v
LIST OF FIGURES viii

1 INTRODUCTION
1
1.1 Background
1.2 Mechanical Vibration
2
1.3 Simulation Tool – MATLAB®
3

1.3.1 Why? MATLAB®


1.3.2 The MATLAB® system

1.4 Problem Statement


6
1.5 Objectives
6
1.6 Justification
6
1.7 Structure and Layout of Report
6

2 LITERATURE REVIEW
4

2.1 Modeling of physical systems


8

2.1.1 Modeling a spring mass damper system

2.1.1.1 Single-degree-of-freedom system

2.1.1.2 Multi degree of freedom system

2.2 Common practical examples of mass spring damper systems 13

2.2.1 Automobile suspension


- Passive suspension
- Semi-active suspension
- Active suspension

2.3 Quarter car model


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2.4 Tuned mass damper


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3 METHODOLOGY

3.1 Modeling of a One Degree of Freedom Spring


21
Mass Damper system

3.2 Modeling of a Three Degree of Freedom Spring Mass 24


Damper System
5

3.3 Simulation 27

4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

4.1 Results and discussion 31

4.1.1 SCENARIO 1

4.1.2 SCENARIO 2

4.1.3 SCENARIO 3

4.1.4 SCENARIO 4

4.1.5 SCENARIO 5

4.1.6 SCENARIO 6

5 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION FOR FUTURE WORK

5.1 Conclusion 44

5.2 Recommendations 44

REFERENCES 45
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LIST OF FIGURES

FIG. NO. TITLE PAGE

2.1 Typical One-degree-of freedom system 9

2.2 Two-degree-of-freedom system 10

2.3 Three-degree-of-freedom system 11

2.4 Passive suspension system 14

2.5 Semi-active suspension system 15

2.6 A low bandwidth or soft active suspension system 16

2.7 A high bandwidth or stiff active suspension system 16

2.8 A Quarter car model 17

2.9 Quarter car suspension 18

2.10 A cantilever beam with a tuned mass damper at the tip 19


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2.11 Taipei-101’s tuned mass damper (top) and its placement in 20


the building (bottom)

3.1 Damped spring mass 22

3.2 3-degree-of-freedom system 25

3.3 Forces acting on m1 25

3.4 Forces acting on m2 26

3.5 Forces acting on m3 26

4.1 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 1, scenario 1) 32

4.2 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 2, scenario 1) 32

4.3 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 3, scenario 1) 33

4.4 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 1, scenario 2) 34

4.5 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 2, scenario 2) 34

4.6 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 3, scenario 2) 35

4.7 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 1, scenario 3) 36

4.8 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 2, scenario 3) 36

4.9 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 3, scenario 3) 37

4.10 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 1, scenario 4) 38

4.11 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 2, scenario 4) 38

4.12 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 3, scenario 4) 39


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4.13 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 1, scenario 5) 40

4.14 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 2, scenario 5) 40

4.15 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 3, scenario 5) 41

4.16 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 1, scenario 6) 42

4.17 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 2, scenario 6) 42

4.18 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 3, scenario 6) 43

LIST OF TABLES

TABLE NO. TITLE PAGE

2.1 Significance of m, c, and k in Different Systems 12


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CHAPTER 1

10 INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background

Springs usually occur physically as a coil of metal, and their idealizations have pretty simple
behavior: compressing the spring will result in the spring pushing back, and stretching the spring
will have it trying to pull back towards the start position, so any displacement along the axis of
the spring will be countered by an opposite force that will tend to move the spring back to it's
original position (Beer and Johnston, 2002). The fundamental spring equation is given as:

F = -kx

Where k is the spring constant (how loose or springy the spring is), x is the difference between
the springs current length and its rest length, and F is the force on both endpoints of the spring.
Usually one endpoint is fixed, the other is the one that bounces around- which is usually what
happens: an initial impulse displaces the spring, the unfixed end of the spring acquires some
velocity moving back, but it passes through the zero-displacement point, is pulled back in the
other direction, and may bounce perpetually in the absence of any dampening forces. Physical
springs have more complex behavior(like the transverse vibration and accompanying sound
when they're bent away from their axis) and could be described by more complex models but
we'll start from the simplest model.

Dampers
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Ideally, one could assume that all vibrating systems are free of damping. However, in actuality,
all vibrations are damped to some degree by friction forces. These forces can be caused by dry
friction, or Coulomb friction, between rigid bodies, by fluid friction when a rigid body moves in
a fluid, or by internal friction between the molecules of a seemingly elastic body. These all fall
under the category of free, damped vibrations. Hence, we have dampers of the viscous type,
Coulomb type or hysteresis type. The equation of motion (E.O.M) for viscously damped free
vibration is given by:

mx + cx + kx = 0

The equation of motion (E.O.M) for Coulomb damped free vibration is given by:

mx+kx+F=0

The area of concentration is on the area of dampers (forced damped vibration). If the system is
considered to be subjected to a periodic force P of magnitude P =Pm sinwft, the E.O.M becomes:

mx + cx + kx = Pm sinwft

A damper is kind of the opposite of a spring, except it operates on relative velocity rather than
displacement (Appleyard, M. and Wellstead, 1995). Spring endpoints moving away from each
other will have forces imparted from the damper that will act against that motion (only on the
spring axis, however), as well as endpoint moving towards each other. This will tend to return
the spring to a static position. Also endpoints moving in unison will not be affected (the damper
won't act as drag), and one endpoint unmoving and the other moving will average out to both
moving slower than the one endpoint.

1.2 Mechanical Vibrations

Mechanical systems may undergo free vibrations or they may be subjected to forced vibrations.
The vibrations are damped when friction forces are present and un-damped otherwise. The
suspension system of an automobile, for example, consists essentially of a spring and a shock
absorber (damper), which will cause the body of the car to undergo damped forced vibrations
when the car is driven over an uneven road.

Most vibrations in machines and structures are undesirable because of the increased stresses and
energy losses which accompany them. They should therefore be eliminated or reduced as much
as possible by appropriate design.
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The analysis of vibrations has become increasingly important in recent years owing to the current
trend toward higher-speed machines and lighter structures.

The analysis of vibration is a very extensive subject. In this project we will briefly look at a
simple case of vibration –the spring mass damper system, a one degree freedom system of
bodies. After a brief overlook of the simple system, we will take a complex case study – A 3
degree of freedom sysytem

1.3 Simulation Tool: MATLAB®

We need to see the performance of the system under various conditions without actually having
to subject the real system to these conditions, hence we simulate.

The simulation tool that is made use of is the MATLAB®.

The name MATLAB® stands for matrix laboratory (The MathWorks Inc, 2007). MATLAB®
was originally written to provide easy access to matrix software developed by the LINPACK and
EISPACK projects. Today, MATLAB® engines incorporate the LAPACK and BLAS libraries,
embedding the state of the art in software for matrix computation. It integrates computation,
visualization, and programming in an easy-to-use environment where problems and solutions are
expressed in familiar mathematical notation. Typical uses include:

• Math and computation

• Algorithm development

• Data acquisition

• Modelling, simulation, and prototyping

• Data analysis, exploration, and visualization

• Scientific and engineering graphics

• Application development, including graphical user interface building.

1.3.1 Why MATLAB®?

i. MATLAB® is an interactive system whose basic data element is an array that does
not require dimensioning. This allows you to solve many technical computing
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problems, especially those with matrix and vector formulations, in a fraction of the
time it would take to write a program in a scalar non-interactive language such as C
or FORTRAN.

ii. MATLAB® provides extensive documentation, in both printed and online format, to
help one learn about and use all of its features. The MATLAB® online help provides
task-oriented and reference information about MATLAB® features.
iii. MATLAB® is easily available. Downloadable demo versions can be obtained from
their website or one can buy the full version with license key also through their online
website. This is not the same with MATHEMATICA® which is very similar to
MATLAB®.
iv. MATLAB® possesses a rich library of functions and data structure that mimic the
properties of systems and also easily provides analytical representation of such
systems.
v. MATLAB® is compatible with most operating systems and is based on open
standards, i.e. it can be used in conjunction with other programs such as Java, C,
Microsoft Excel, etc.
vi. MATLAB® is built with the ability to manipulate direct computer memory thereby
allowing it to run faster than most other renowned programs like Java, C, FORTRAN,
etc which have an indirect link to computer memory.
vii. MATLAB® has a feature, SIMULINK, which is visual and allows one to bypass
complex mathematical calculations by using its block symbols to represent such
calculations hence saving time. With SIMULINK, a system can be constructed and
tested easily by varying parameters with the output available graphically and
pictorially.

1.3.2 The MATLAB® System

The MATLAB® system consists of five main parts:

• Development Environment. This is the set of tools and facilities that facilitate
MATLAB® functions and files. Many of these tools are graphical user interfaces. It
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includes the MATLAB® desktop and Command Window, a command history, an


editor and debugger, and browsers for viewing help, the workspace, files, and the
search path.
• The MATLAB® Mathematical Function Library. This is a vast collection of
computational algorithms ranging from elementary functions, like sum, sine, cosine,
and complex arithmetic, to more sophisticated functions like matrix inverse, matrix
Eigen values, Bessel functions, and fast Fourier transforms.
• The MATLAB® Language. This is a high-level matrix/array language with control
flow statements, functions, data structures, input/output, and object-oriented
programming features. It allows both "programming in the small" to rapidly create
quick and dirty throw-away programs, and "programming in the large" to create large
and complex application programs.
• Graphics. MATLAB® has extensive facilities for displaying vectors and matrices as
graphs, as well as annotating and printing these graphs. It includes high-level
functions for two-dimensional and three-dimensional data visualization, image
processing, animation, and presentation graphics. It also includes low-level functions
that allow full customization of the appearance of graphics as well as to build
complete graphical user interfaces on MATLAB applications.
• The MATLAB® Application Program Interface (API). This is a library that allows
writing C and FORTRAN programs that interact with MATLAB. It includes facilities
for calling routines from MATLAB (dynamic linking), calling MATLAB as a
computational engine, and for reading and writing MAT-files.

1.4 Problem statement

A physical system is to be replaced by a mathematical model in order to predict its vibration


behavior. The accuracy of the predicted behavior depends on the level of difficulty associated
with the mathematical model.

The model must account for the four basic phenomena associated with the physical system,
namely, the elasticity, inertia, excitation or input energy, and damping or dissipation of energy.
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The mathematical model should not be too complex and overly sophisticated to include more
details of the system than are necessary.

1.5 Objective

To investigate the performance of a spring mass damper system, under various conditions,
through modeling, without having to subject the real system to these conditions.

1.6 Justification

The spring mass damper can be built or represented on the computer instead of going to the
workshop to fabricate such system and its performance under various conditions can also be
observed without having to subject the real system to these conditions hence, you save materials
and money, since the system can be used countless times. Energy is also saved because such
system is more easily built on a computer than physically. Moreover, it may be very difficult to
measure some outputs of some systems such as displacement but such values can be measured
with ease through simulation.

1.7 Structure and Layout of Report


This report is organized into five chapters.

Chapter 1 gives the background of the spring mass damper system and the objectives of the
project.

Chapter 2 discusses the literature review of the spring mass damper system.

In Chapter 3, the methodology of the simulation is presented.

Chapter 4 discusses the performance evaluation of the results by means of computer simulation
in MATLAB.

The summary of the results and future research based on this study will be presented in Chapter
5
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CHAPTER 2

2.0 LITERATURE VIEW

2.1 Modeling of physical (dynamic) systems


A mathematical model of a dynamic system is defined as a set of equations that represents the
dynamics of the system accurately or, at least, fairly well (Ogata, 2002). A mathematical model
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is not unique to a given system. A system may be represented in many different ways and,
therefore, may have many mathematical models, depending on one’s perspective.

The dynamics of many systems, whether they are mechanical, electrical, thermal, economic,
biological, and so on, may be described in terms of differential equations. Such differential
equations may be obtained by using physical laws governing a particular system, for example,
Newton’s laws for mechanical systems and Kirchhoff’s laws for electrical systems. It must be
kept in mind that deriving reasonable mathematical models is the most important part of the
entire analysis of control systems.

Mathematical models may assume many different forms. Depending on the particular system and
the particular circumstances, one mathematical model may be better suited than other models
(Ogata, 2002). For example, in optimal control problems, it is advantageous to use state-space
representations. On the other hand, for the transient-response or frequency-response analysis of
single-input-single-output, linear, time-invariant systems, the transfer function representation
may be more convenient than any other. Once a mathematical model of as system is obtained,
various analytical and computer tools (e.g. MATLAB) can be used for analysis and synthesis
purposes.

2.1.1 Modeling a spring mass damper system


Based on the nature of the mathematical model used, the system may be called a discrete (or
lumped) system or a continuous (or distributed) system (John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2006). In the
discrete model, the physical system is assumed to consist of several rigid bodies (usually
considered as point masses) connected by springs and dampers. The springs denote restoring
forces that tend to return the masses to their respective undisturbed (or equilibrium) states. The
dampers provide resistance to velocity and dissipate the energy of the system. In the continuous
model, the mass, elasticity, and damping are assumed to be distributed throughout the system.
The equations of motion of a discrete system are in the form of a system of n coupled second-
order ordinary differential equations, where n denotes the number of masses (discrete masses or
rigid bodies). The number of independent coordinates needed to describe the configuration of a
system at any time during vibration defines the degrees of freedom of the system. For example,
Figs. 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 denote typical one-, two-, and three-degree-of-freedom systems,
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respectively. A point mass can have three translational degrees of freedom while a rigid body can
have three translational and three rotational degrees of freedom. Many mechanical and structural
components and systems such as bars, beams, plates, and shells have distributed mass, elasticity,
and damping. The equation of motion of a continuous system is in the form of a partial
differential equation. A continuous system can be modeled either as a discrete- or
lumpedparameter system with varying number of degrees of freedom or as a continuous system
with infinite number of degrees of freedom, as illustrated for a cantilever beam in Fig. 2.4.

Figure 2.1 Typical One-degree-of freedom systems

The oscillatory motion of a body may be harmonic, periodic, or nonperiodic in nature.


If the time variation of the displacement of the mass is sinusoidal, the motion will be harmonic.
The number of cycles of motion per unit time defines the frequency, and the maximum
magnitude of motion is called the amplitude of vibration. If the periodic variation of motion is
not harmonic, the motion will be periodic. In this case, the periodic motion can be expressed as a
sum of harmonic motions of different frequencies. If the time variation of the displacement of the
mass is arbitrary (nonperiodic), the motion is said to be nonperiodic.
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If the nonperiodic motion can be described either by an equation or by a set of tabulated values,
the motion is considered to be deterministic. On the other hand, if the motion cannot be
described by any equation or tabulated values, it is said to be random or probabilistic.
When an external force or excitation is applied to a mechanical or structural system, the
amplitude of the resulting vibration can become very large when a frequency component of the
applied force or excitation approaches one of the natural frequencies of the system, particularly
the fundamental one. Such a condition, known as resonance, and the attendant stresses and
strains might cause a failure of the system. Because of this, designers should have a means of
determining the natural frequencies of mechanical and structural systems using analytical or
experimental approaches.

Figure 2.2 Two-degree-of-freedom system


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Figure 2.3 Three-degree-of-freedom system

2.1.1.1 Single-degree-of-freedom system

A study of the vibration characteristics of a single-degree-of-freedom-system is extremely


important in the study of vibration and shock because the approximate or qualitative response of
most systems can be determined by using a single-degree-of-freedom model for the system
(Appleyard M. and Wellstead, 1995).
A general single-degree-of-freedom system consists of a mass m, a spring of stiffness k, and a
viscous damper with a damping constant c, as shown in Fig. 2.1a, the significance of the
quantities m, c and k for different types of systems is given in Table 2.1

The equation of motion is given by:

mx +cx+kx=F(t) (2.1)

where the dots above x denote first and second derivatives respectively
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Table 2.1 Significance of m, c, and k in Different Systems (John Wiley & Sons, 2006)
Vibrating System m c k Variable x
1. Translatory Mass (kg) Viscous damping Spring stiffness Linear
spring-mass-damper constant (N.s/m) (N/m) displacement (m)
system, Fig. 2.1a
2. Rotational spring- Mass Torsional damping Torsional spring Angular
mass-damper system, moment of constant (m.N.s/rad) stiffness (m.N/rad) displacement
Fig. 2.1c inertia (rad)
(kg.m2)
3. Swinging Moment of Damping constant of Angular stiffness Angular
pendulum, Fig. 2.1b inertia of bob surrounding medium constant due to displacement
(kg.m2) (m.N.s/rad) gravity (N.m/rad) (rad)

4. Transversely Mass at end Damping constant Flexural stiffness Transverse


vibrating cantilever of beam (kg) due to surrounding of beam (N/m) displacement of
beam, Fig 2.1d medium (N.s/m) mass at end of
cantilever (m)

2.1.1.2 Multi-degree-of-freedom system

Most mechanical and structural systems have distributed mass, elasticity, and damping (John
Wiley & Sons, 2006). These systems are modeled as multi- (n-) degree-of-freedom systems to
facilitate analysis of their vibration behavior. Several methods are available to construct an n-
degree-of-freedom model from a continuous system. These include the physical lumping or
modeling method, finite element method, finite difference method, modal analysis method,
Rayleigh–Ritz method, Galerkin method, and many others (Karnopp, 1994). In most cases, the
number of degrees of freedom (n) to be used in the model depends on the frequency range. If the
system is expected to undergo significant deformations at higher frequencies, the model should
include enough number of degrees of freedom to cover all the important frequencies. Most
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vibration characteristics of a n-degree-of-freedom system are similar to those of a single-degree-


of-freedom system. An n-degree-of-freedom system will have n natural frequencies, its free
vibrations denote exponentially decaying motions, its forced vibrations exhibit resonance
behavior, etc. However, there are some vibration characteristics that are unique to an n-degree-of
-freedom system which are absent in single-degree-of-freedom systems. For example, the
existence of normal modes, orthogonality of normal modes, and decomposition of the response
of the system (free or forced) in terms of normal modes are unique to multi-degree-of-freedom
systems.

2.2 Common practical examples of mass spring damper system

These include:
• Automobile suspension system
• Quarter car model
• Tuned mass damper
• Muscles and tendons in the human body

2.2.1 Automobile suspension system

The suspension system can be categorized into passive, semi-active and active suspension
system according to external power input to the system and/or a control bandwidth (Appleyard
and Wellstead, 1995). A passive suspension system is a conventional suspension system consists
of a non-controlled spring and shock-absorbing damper as shown in figure 2.1. The semi-active
suspension as shown in figure 2.2 has the same elements but the damper has two or more
selectable damping rate. An active suspension is one in which the passive components are
augmented by actuators that supply additional force. Besides these three types of suspension
systems, a skyhook type damper has been considered in the early design of the active suspension
system. In the skyhook damper suspension system, an imaginary damper is placed between the
sprung mass and the sky. The imaginary damper provides a force on the vehicle body
proportional to the sprung mass absolute velocity
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Passive Suspension System


The commercial vehicles today use passive suspension system to control the dynamics of a
vehicle’s vertical motion as well as pitch and roll. Passive indicates that the suspension elements
cannot supply energy to the suspension system. The passive suspension system controls the
motion of the body and wheel by limiting their relative velocities to a rate that gives the desired
ride characteristics. This is achieved by using some type of damping element placed between the
body and the wheels of the vehicle, such as hydraulic shock absorber.

Figure 2.4 Passive suspension system

Semi-Active Suspension System

In early semi-active suspension system, the regulating of the damping force can be achieved by
utilizing the controlled dampers under closed loop control, and such is only capable of
dissipating energy (Williams, 1994). Two types of dampers are used in the semi- active
suspension namely the two state dampers and the continuous variable dampers. The two state
dampers switched rapidly between states under closed-loop control. The disadvantage of this
system is that while it controls the body frequencies effectively, the rapid switching, particularly
when there are high velocities across the dampers, generates high-frequency harmonics which
makes the suspension feel harsh, and leads to the generation of unacceptable noise.
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The continuous variable dampers have a characteristic that can be rapidly varied over a wide
range. When the body velocity and damper velocity are in the same direction, the damper force is
controlled to emulate the skyhook damper. When they are in the opposite directions, the damper
is switched to its lower rate, this being the closest it can get to the ideal skyhook force. The
disadvantage of the continuous variable damper is that it is difficult to find devices that are
capable in generating a high force at low velocities and a low force at high velocities, and be able
to move rapidly between the two.

Figure 2.5 Semi-active suspension system

Active Suspension System

Active suspensions differ from the conventional passive suspensions in their


ability to inject energy into the system, as well as store and dissipate it.
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Figure 2.6 A low bandwidth or soft active suspension system

Figure 2.7 A high bandwidth or stiff active suspension system


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2.3 The Quarter Car Model

A quarter car model is a well-known model for simulating one-dimensional vehicle suspension
performance. In its simplified form, the suspension consists of a spring of stiffness K and a
damper with damping coefficient C. The spring performs the role of supporting the static weight
of the vehicle while the damper helps in dissipating the vibrational energy and limiting the input
from the road that is transmitted to the vehicle(Ahmet Naci Mete, Sandip D Kulkarni, Michael
Gerbracht, Noah Fehrenbacher).

The values for the stiffness and damping coefficient have to be chosen to optimize vehicle
performance under a certain range of vehicle load and road conditions. For a passive system with
a highly uneven input, there is an inherent conflict between system stability and passenger
comfort. For an extremely stiff suspension, the system will be highly stable, but acceleration of
the sprung mass will be high, and the passenger comfort will be low. For a non-stiff suspension,
passenger comfort will increase, but the vehicle becomes unstable.

From past research, active damper systems have proved to be very effective in improving the
comfort and handling. However, when the vehicle is moving over a rough terrain the active
systems do not have the reliability of a passive damper system. A failed active system can
become dangerous if not coupled with a passive system. Hence, semi active dampers are used for
off-road vehicle suspensions. A semiactive system gives fail-safe damping control, better
performance than passive systems and requires lesser power than active systems.
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Figure 2.8 A Quarter car model

The dynamic behaviour of the quarter car is given by the equation:

where m1=(m1+∆m1) represents the real mass of the quarter car, composed by a nominal
parameter m1 and an uncertain one ∆m1.

Figure 2.9 Quarter car suspension


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2.4 The tuned mass damper

The use of tuned mass dampers (TMD) is another widely used passive vibration damping
treatment. These devices are viscously damped 2nd order systems appended to a vibrating
structure. Proper selection of the parameters of these appendages, tunes the TMD to one of the
natural frequencies of the underdamped flexible structure, resulting in the addition of damping to
that resonance (R. Kashani, Ph.D. 2007).
Unlike dashpot which is most effective in adding damping to the first mode, TMD can target any
mode, including the first, and add considerable amount of damping to it. Another distinction
between TMD and dashpot is that TMD is a single point device and can simply be attached to a
structure at one end with its other end being free.

TMD consists of mass, which moves relatively to the structure and is attached to it by a spring
and a viscous damper in parallel as shown in figure 2.10. The structural vibration generates the
excitation of the TMD. As a result, the kinetic energy is transferred from the structure to the
TMD and is absorbed by the damping component of the device. The MD usually experience
large displacements.

TMD incorporated into a structure where the first mode of the structural response dominates, it is
expected to be very effective. The optimum tuning and damping ratios that result in the
maximum absorbed energy have been studied by several investigators. TMDs have been found
effective in reducing the response of structures to winds and harmonic loads and have been
installed in a number of buildings.
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Figure 2.10 A cantilever beam with a tuned mass damper at the tip
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Figure 2.11 Taipei-101’s tuned mass damper (top) and its placement in the building
(bottom)
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CHAPTER 3

3.0 METHODOLOGY

3.1 one degree of freedom spring mass damper system

If we take an ordinary spring that resists compression as well as extension and suspend it
vertically from a fixed support and at the end of the lower spring, we attach a body of mass m
(assume m to be so large that we may disregard the mass of the spring), when we pull the body
down a certain distance and then release it, it undergoes motion. We assume that the body moves
strictly vertically. The motion of this mechanical system is to be determined. This motion is
governed by Newton’s second law

Mass x Acceleration = mx = Force (1)

Where “Force” is the resultant of all the forces acting on the body. Here, x = d2x/dt2, where x(t)
is the displacement of the body and t is time.

We choose the downward direction as positive thus regarding downward forces positive and
upward forces negative.

The spring is first un-stretched. When we attach the body, the latter stretches the spring by an
amount s0. This causes an upward force F0 in the spring given as

F0=-ks0 (2) (Hooke’s law)

This force balances the weight of the body, i.e. W + F0 = mg -ks0= 0. This is called static
equilibrium.

If the body is pulled downward, it further stretches the spring by some amount x > 0 (the
distance we pull it down). By Hooke’s law, this causes an (additional) upward force F1 in the
spring such that
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F1= -kx

Figure 3.1 Damped spring mass

F1 is a restoring force. It has the tendency to restore the system, that is, to pull the body back to x
= 0.

If we connect the mass to a dashpot, we have to take the corresponding viscous damping into
account. The corresponding damping force has the direction opposite to the instantaneous
motion. We assume that it is proportional to the velocity x'= dx/dt of the body. This is generally
a good approximation, at least for small velocities. Thus, the damping force is of the form

F2= -cx' (3)

c is called the damping constant. The resultant forces acting on the body now is

F1+ F2=-kx -cx' (4)

Hence, by Newton’s second law,

mx= -kx -cx' (5)

This shows that the motion of the damped mechanical system is governed by the linear
differential equation with constant coefficients

mx+kx+cx'=0 (6)
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mx=inertia force

cx'=damping force

kx=spring force

x+cmx+kmx=0 (7a)

Or [D2+cmD+km]x=0 (7b)

Where D=d/dt and D2=d2/dt

Equation (7b) is an ordinary differential equation of the second order. Its characteristic equation
is

D2+cmD+km=0 (8)

Its roots are

D1,2=-c2m±c2m2-km (9)

For critical damping, the term under the square root sign is equal to zero, and the damping
coefficient is called the critical damping coefficient (cc). Thus,

Cc2m2-km=0

Cc2m=km=ωn=natural circular frequency inrads (10)

ωn2=km

Cc=2mωn=2km (11)

Damping ratio, ℶ=c/cc

c2m=ccc×cc2m=ℶωn (12)

cm=2ℶωn (13)

Thus D1,2=-ωn±ℶωn2-ωn2

= -ℶωn±ωnℶ2-1 (14)
33

Hence, equation (7a) can be rewritten as

x+2ℶωnx+ωn2x=0 (15)

From Laplace transforms, we get

s2Xs-sx0--x'X(0-)+2ℶωnsXs-x0-+ωn2Xs=0 (16)

Mass position = x0- = x0 (m)

Mass velocity = x'= 0 (m/s)

s2Xs-sx0+2ℶωnsXs-x0+ωn2Xs=0 (17)

When we solve by using Laplace, we obtain

xt=x0e-ℶωnt1-ℶ2sin⁡(ωn1-ℶ2t+θ) (18)

This is the system’s response, i.e. displacement at any point in time, t. The system is
underdamped when ℶ<1, overdamped when ℶ>1 and critically damped when ℶ=1.

3.2 Three degree of freedom spring mass damper system

We now consider the three-degree-of-freedom system consisting of three masses m1, m2, and
m3(kg); three forces F1, F2 and F3(N) acting on the masses; four springs with stiffnesses k1, k2,
k3 and k4(N/m); and four viscous dampers with damping constants c1, c2, c3 and c4(Ns/m) as
shown in Fig. 3.2. The mass mi subjected to the force Fi(t) undergoes a displacement xi (t), i = 1,
2, 3.

Assumptions made
We are assuming that there is negligible friction between the surfaces of the masses and the
surface of the ground. Therefore, there will be no considerations for friction in our mathematical
modeling and simulation.
34

m
F3213214
K
C
X

Figure 3.2 3-degree-of-freedom system

We isolate the individual masses:

k2x1-x2
m1x1
k1x1
c1x1
c2x1-x2
m, 1x1, x1
x1

Figure 3.3 Forces acting on m1


35

m
m2x2
k2x1-x2
c2x3-x1
c3x2-x3
k3x2-x3
x22, x2, x2

Figure 3.4 Forces acting on m2

m3x3
m
k3x3-x2
c3x3-x2
c4x3
k4x3
x3,
3 x3, x3

Figure 3.5 Forces acting on m3

mx +cx+kx=F is the general equation governing the system. When we isolate each mass, we
obtain the following E.O.M.
36

m1x1+k1x1+k2x1-x2+c1x1+c2x1-x2=F1

m2x2+k2x2-x1+k3x2-x1+c2x2-x1+c3x2-x3=F2

m3x3+k3x3-x2+k4x3+c3x3-x2+c4x3=F3

3.3 Simulation
We must remember that computer language is garbage in, garbage out (GIGO), hence what we
input into the program needs to be readable and intrepreted in the right manner by the program.
This was a big challenge in solving this problem.

After vigorous efforts, search and study through MATLAB’s various commands, we obtained a
solution by programming using the equivalent state space model of the system.

The state space modeling is a modern control theory. The modern trend in engineering systems is
toward greater complexity, due mainly to the requirements of complex tasks and good accuracy.
Complex systems may have multiple inputs and multiple outputs and may be time varying.
Because of the necessity of meeting increasingly stringent requirements on the performance of
control systems, the increase in system complexity, and easy access to large scale computers,
modern control theory, which is a new approach to the analysis and design of complex control
systems, has been developed since around 1960 (Ogata, 2002). This new approach is based on
the concept of state. The concept of state by itself is not new since it has been in existence for a
long time in the field of classical dynamics and other fields.

Modern Contol Theory Versus Conventional Control Theory


Modern control theory is contrasted with conventional control theory in that the former is
applicable to multiple-input-multiple-output systems, which may be linear or nonlinear, time
invariant or time varying, while the latter is applicable only to linear time-invariant single-input-
single-output systems. Also, modern control theory is essentially a time-domain appoach, while
conventional control theory is a complex frequency-domain approach.
37

So, we obtained equations for y1, y2, y3, y4, y5, y6in our three degree of freedom system
using state space model theory where y1=x1, y2= x1, y3=x2, y4=x2, y5=x3, y6=x3
as follows:

y1= y2

y2= -k1+k2m1y1-c1+c2m1y2+(k2/m1)y3+(c2/m1)y4+F1/m1

y3= y4

y4= (k2/m2)y1+c2/m2y2-k2+k3m2y3-c2+c3m2y4+(k3/m2)y5+ (c3/m2)y6+F2/m2

y5= y6

y6= (k3/m3)y3+(c3/m3)y4-k3+k4m3y5-c3+c4m3y6+F3/m3

Then, using values of masses 1, 2 , 3 as 6, 9, 5kg (respectively), spring stiffness’s 1, 2, 3, 4 as 6,


7, 4, 1N/m (respectively), dampers 1, 2, 3, 4 as 1, 0.2, 0.1, 2Ns/m (respectively), forces 1,
2, 3 as 3, 9, 12N (respectively), we inputted these into the program and coded as follows
in the MATLAB Editor:

function dydt = massspring(t,y)

m1 = 6;
38

m2 = 9;
m3 = 5;
k1 = 6;
k2 = 7;
k3 = 4;
k4 = 1;
c1 = 1;
c2 = 0.2;
c3 = 0.1;
c4 = 2;
F1 = 3;
F2 = 9;
F3 = 12;

dydt = [ y(2)
-(((k1+k2)/m1)*y(1))- (((c1+c2)/m1)*y(2))+(((k2)/m1)*y(3))+(((c2)/m1)*y(4))+ (F1/m1)
y(4)
(((k2)/m2)*y(1))+ (((c2)/m2)*y(2))- (((k2+k3)/m2)*y(3))- (((c2+c3)/m2)*y(4))+
(((k3)/m2)*y(5))+ (((c3)/m2)*y(6))+ (F2/m2)
y(6)
(((k3)/m3)*y(3))+ (((c3)/m3)*y(4))- (((k3+k4)/m3)*y(5))- (((c3+c4)/m3)*y(6))+
(F3/m3)];

Then, we wrote another program on a new page, invoking the first program in this new one.

% TO SOLVE THE SYSTEM OF NON-LINEAR ODE's FOR THE SPRING MASS DAMPER
clc;
[t,y] = ode45(@massspring,[0:1: 200],[6;0;7;0;8;0]);

figure(1)
plot (t,y(:,1))
39

figure(2)
plot (t,y(:,3))

figure(3)
plot (t,y(:,5))

We then varied some of the inputs while keeping the others constant and generated different
displacement-time graphs in order to observe the system’s performance.
40

CHAPTER 4

4.1 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

After the mathematical model had been inputted into and solved by MATLAB, we went put our
simulation to use by testing various conditions of the system. As was incorporated into our
programming commands, MATLAB provided us with visual representations (plotted graphs) of
these various conditions of the system which we went on to interpret.
Below are the results we obtained and our discussions.

4.1.1 Scenario 1- c1=1, c2=0.2, c3=0.1, c4=2

Here inputted values for c1, c2, c3 and c4 (dampers) and MATLAB produced the
graph shown below. It is observed that the body (mass 1) is displaced to and fro
its original position for the first 40 – 50 seconds before the damping starts to take full
effect, and it comes to rest (stabilizes) at 80 seconds. This could be described as a
‘damped’ vibration.

For this scenario, both masses 2 and 3 have similar displacement-time graphs as mass 1.
All the masses are both affected by their own individual damping and that of the
whole system.
41

5.5

5
Displacement, y1(t)(m)

4.5

3.5

2.5

1.5
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Time, t(sec)

Figure 4.1 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 1, scenario 1)

7.5

6.5
Displacement, y2(t)(m)

5.5

4.5

3.5
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Time, t(sec)

Figure 4.2 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 2, scenario 1)


42

8.5

7.5
Displacement, y3(t)(m)

6.5

5.5

4.5

4
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Time, t(sec)

Figure 4.3 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 3, scenario 1)

4.1.2 Scenario 2- c1=c2=c3=0, c4=2

In this scenario, we set c1, c2 and c3=0 (no damping or negligible), while leaving c4 as equal to
2NS/m. As can be observed from the graphs for masses 1, 2 and 3 below, because there is
little or no damping, the masses seem to never come to rest even at a time of 200
seconds. In fact, the only reason why the displacement of the masses subsides when it
approaches time 40 seconds (more clearly observed in the case of mass 3) is because of
the overall damping effect of c4 on the whole system.
43

5.5

5
Displacement, y1(t)(m)

4.5

3.5

2.5

1.5

1
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Time, t(sec)

Figure 4.4 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 1, scenario 2)

7.5

6.5
Displacement, y2(t)(m)

5.5

4.5

3.5

3
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Time, t(sec)

Figure 4.5 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 2, scenario 2)


44

8.5

7.5
Displacement, y3(t)(m)

6.5

5.5

4.5

4
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Time, t(sec)

Figure 4.6 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 3, scenario 2)

4.1.3 Scenario 3- c1=10, c2=9, c3=15, c4=2

In this third case, we tried to see the effect of over-damping by raising the values of c1, c2, and
c3 to very high values. As can be observed from the graphs below, the masses achieve
high displacement, and then a state of rest almost immediately after, reflecting how
heavily damped the system is. This is clearly a state of stiff spring coefficient,
usually the case in devices that require early damping of the vibration (e.g.
measuring instruments, racing cars etc.)
45

5.5

5
Displacement, y1(t)(m)

4.5

3.5

2.5
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Time, t(sec)

Figure 4.7 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 1, scenario 3)

6.5
Displacement, y2(t)(m)

5.5

4.5
0 20 40 6
0 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
T
ime,t(sec)
46

Figure 4.8 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 2, scenario 3)

7.5
Displacement, y3(t)(m)

6.5

5.5
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Time, t(sec)

Figure 4.9 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 3, scenario 3)

4.1.4 Scenario 4- K1=3, K2=2, K3=0, K4=1

In this case, we tried to see the effect of reducing the spring stiffness’s. As can be observed from
the graphs below, the masses 1 and 2 move to and fro and do not still come to a steady
state after 200 seconds. However, the third mass becomes steady not long after the process
begins since k3=0 and k4=1.
47

5
.5
Displacement, y1(t)(m)

4
.5

3
.5

2
.5

2
0 2
0 4
0 6
0 8
0 10
0 1
20 1
40 1
60 1
80 2
00
T
ime
,t(se
c)

Figure 4.10 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 1, scenario 4)

9.5

9
Displacement, y2(t)(m)

8.5

7.5

7
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Time, t(sec)

Figure 4.11 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 2, scenario 4)


48

13

12.5

12

11.5
Displacement, y3(t)(m)

11

10.5

10

9.5

8.5

8
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Time, t(sec)

Figure 4.12 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 3, scenario 4)

4.1.5 Scenario 5- m1=1, m2=3, m3=0.5

In this case, we tried to see the effect of reducing the masses. As can be observed from the graphs
below, the system comes to rest faster than that of scenario 1 where the values of the
masses are higher, so obviously, the less heavy the masses, the easier it is to control
the vibrations.
49

5.5

5
Displacement, y1(t)(m)

4.5

3.5

2.5

2
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Time, t(sec)

Figure 4.13 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 1, scenario 5)

6.5
Displacement, y2(t)(m)

5.5

4.5

3.5
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
T
ime, t(sec)
50

Figure 4.14 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 2, scenario 5)

7.5
Displacement, y3(t)(m)

6.5

5.5
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Time, t(sec)

Figure 4.15 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 3, scenario 5)

4.1.6 Scenario 6- F1=1, F2=1, F3=1

The effect of reducing the forces acting on the masses is observed in this sixth and final case. The
system here also stabilizes faster than that of scenario 1 which implies that the lesser the
force on a system, the faster it stabilizes, i.e. lesser vibration on the system.
51

4
Displacement, y1(t)(m)

-1

-2
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Time, t(sec)

Figure 4.16 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 1, scenario 6)

5
Displacement, y2(t)(m)

-1

-2

-3
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Time, t(sec)
52

Figure 4.17 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 2, scenario 6)

5
Displacement, y3(t)(m)

-1

-2
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Tim e , t(s e c )

Figure 4.18 Displacement vs. Time (for Mass 3, scenario 6)

So, in like manner as above, we can change the values of our input parameters and see the effect
on the system.
53

CHAPTER 5

5.0 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1 Conclusion

From the results achieved above in chapter 4, we conclude that a spring mass damper system,
which is widely used in mechanical applications, can be well represented and simulated on a
computer to reproduce real-life situations and accurately predict different conditions and outputs
desired.

Thus it can be used to design systems which have not been manufactured for testing.

5.2 Recommendation

We recommend the following for future work:

I. A mathematical model of the system, considering the friction forces (i.e. a more complex
system).

II. The use of SIMULINK which is a circuit-like representation of systems and VIRTUAL
REALITY (both incorporated into MATLAB) for more visual representation of the
system, so that even a layman (as in the case of VIRTUAL REALITY) can easily
interpret.
54

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Ferdinand P. Beer & E. Russell Johnston (1997). Vector Mechanics for Engineers, Sixth
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Pgs. 1172 – 1174.

Katsuhiko Ogata (2002). Modern Control Engineering, Fourth Edition. Pgs. 53-54, 70-90.

Allen S. Hall, Alfred R. Holowenko, Herman G. Laughlin (2002). Schaum’s Outlines Machine
Design. Pgs. 89-92

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Edited by Myer Kutz (2006). Mechanical Engineers’ Handbook:
Materials and Mechanical Design, Volume 1, Third Edition. Pgs. 1204-1209.

www.matlabcentral.com – The official MATLAB® website.

The MathWorks Incorporated (2007) – MATLAB® product help.

Ahmet Naci Mete, Sandip D Kulkarni, Michael Gerbracht, Noah Fehrenbacher (2005).
“Quarter car model using a semi-active MRF damper”.

Yahaya Md. Sam PhD. (2006). “Robust Control of Active Suspension System for a quarter car
model”Project for Department of Control and Instrumentation Engineering, Universiti
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Appleyard M. and Wellstead P.E. (1995). Active Suspension: some background. IEEE Proc.
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Karnopp, D. (1990). Design Principles for Vibration Control Systems using Semi-Active
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