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Assignment 2: Frequency Response Function of a SDOF System

Sergio Ortega Cheno
February 17 of 2015, Structural Dynamics, Facultad de Ingeniera Mecnica y Elctrica, Universidad Autnoma de Nuevo Len

The following document corresponds to the assignment number two of the Structural Dynamics class, which consists in the analysis of a Single Degree of
Freedom system. The analysis corresponds to the obtainment of the time response of damped and undamped systems and to the characterization of the
dynamics of the system behavior, including the Bode diagram, which consists in the magnitude and phase angle analysis, plotting both of them against the
frequency ratio, and the obtainment of the dynamic parameter of receptance. Characteristics of the system, as mass, stiffness and damping coefficient are
varied to show how the receptance graphic of the system changes its behavior, and identify which and how the frequency zone is affected.



The single degree of freedom systems are the simplest

vibratory systems, and can be described as a single mass
connected to a spring modeled as a linear spring, which
provides a restoring force, and a damper modeled as a
viscous damper, which provides a damping force
proportional to a relative displacement and acting in the
direction against the velocity vector. The system will vibrate
when an external force is applied to the mass, which would
only be able to travel along the spring elongation direction;
this is why its called a single degree of freedom.
A Mass-Spring-Damping system is represented as

One of the dynamic parameters in order to study how

mass, stiffness and damping coefficients affect the dynamic
of our system is the receptance, which is the displacement
per unit of force, i.e. the receptance will be given by the
magnitude of the steady state amplitude.
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For a SDOF system, the steady state amplitude is given by:

In order to plot the receptance behavior of the system and

analyze the way its being modified by the variation of its
properties it is necessary to monitor it against a frequency
given by:
Where w is the excitation frequency and wn is the natural
frequency of the system.

The systems equation of motion is given by:

Where m is the mass, is the acceleration, c is the

damping coefficient, is the velocity, k is the stiffness of
the spring and x is the displacement of the mass. This
equation can also be expressed in terms of the natural
frequency and viscous damping ratio. Then the motion of
the system will be given by:

is the natural frequency of the system and is
the viscous damping ratio.
In order to characterize the dynamics of a system, the
frequency response is need to be obtained, which is the
quantitative measure of the output spectrum in response to
an external force F(t) acting as a stimulus of the systems
behavior. The measure of magnitude and phase of the output
as a function of frequency describe the frequency response,
which is represented in a Bode Diagram.

Centro de Investigacion


In order to analyze a systems behavior, a program was

developed, where the variables that interact in the system
are the following:

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21 de Noviembre de 2014

The measured response can be the displacement,

velocity or acceleration, where the Frequency Respond
Function will be the Receptance, Mobility or Accelerance,
respectively. In this case the Frequency Response Function
that will be analyzed is the Receptance.

Free Vibration
The diagram represents a
M-K-C system, which is
submitted to an external
force, where the force is
acting as a unitary impulse
F(t) =1, so the system will
be allowed to vibrate freely
after submitted to the force.
The equation of motion of
the system will be given by:

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In order to obtain the behavior of the system when
referring to receptance, this parameter must be plot against
logarithmic scale of frequencies (

) for the x-axes.


Undamped system (

The time response of the system will depend on the

amount of damping . There are 4 different cases and
behaviors that the system can experiment, given by the
value of the damping, these are:

Figure 1

Under damped system (

Forced Vibration
For the second case, the force will be given as
leaving the equation of motion of the system as:

This represents a system submitted to harmonic forced

vibration. The total response of the system will be given by
the sum of the free response and steady state forced
This response will be analyzed, varying the parameters
of mass, stiffness and damping coefficient in order to
analyze the behavior of the receptance of the system. The
zones of low frequency, resonance zone and high frequency
will be affected depending on the parameter that is varying.
After declaring the variables that will be involved in our
system we proceed to develop a program to obtain the
dynamic parameters of the system. The method that we will
use is the transitory excitement, which requires applying the
Frequency Response method as well, in order to obtain the
FRFs. The excitation consisted in an impulsive force
applied directly to the system plotting the time response. In
agree with the fundamental relation of the Frequency
Response Method, the relation between the Fourier
transform of the response X() and the excitation F() is
the Frequency Response Function H(), also called the
transfer function of the system.

Figure 2

Critically damped system (

Figure 3

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Receptance plot with a Stiffness Variation (k = 1:1:10)

Over damped system

Figure 4

Bode Diagram for a MKC system


Figure 7

Receptance plot with a Damping coefficient variation

(c = 0.1:0.1:1.5)

Figure 5.a

Figure 8
Figure 5.b

Receptance plot with a Mass Variation (m = 1:1:10)



In Figure 1 the displacement behavior of an undamped system

is plotted in function of a defined period of time. The graphic
represent five different lines, which represent the displacement
behavior of the same system but with a different value for its
natural frequency. The number of oscillation per second of the
system will increase as the natural frequency increases, but the
amplitude of the oscillation would not be affected, as this
characteristic of the system can only be affected by the damping
ratio of the system, which is zero in this case. As we can see, any
of the displacement representation reaches a steady state, that
because of the lack of damping.
In Figure 2, 3 and 4, the displacement behavior of
underdamped, critically damped and overdamped systems is
represented, respectively. Five lines are plotted, each of them
represent the behavior of the system for a different established
natural frequency. In the all of the cases, as the natural frequency
of the system increases, the system will reach its steady state in a
smaller period of time, i.e. the amplitude of the displacement will
decrease faster as the natural frequency of the system reduces.

Figure 6

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As the settling time of any damped system is given by:

form its rest position and then allowed to vibrate freely, is

an important fact when analyzing the structure, as resonance
occurs when the applied force or base excitation frequency
coincides with the natural frequency structural natural
With the graphics obtained in the Bode Diagram and
receptance behavior of the system we can establish the
frequencies at which resonance will occur. During resonant
vibration, the response displacement may increase until the
structure or element analyzed experiences buckling, yielding
or some other failure in the mechanism. This is why it is so
important to have in consideration this zone.

The Bode Diagram presented above in Figure 5, is

serving to characterize the frequency response of our
analyzed system. Figure 5.a corresponds to the magnitude
of the function, where the module of the transfer function is
plotted in decibels in function of the frequency in
logarithmic scale. As we can see, the magnitude of the
frequency response is reaching its highest value in a certain
value of frequency, this will be the frequency ratio of the
system at the system will enter in resonance. When varying
the damping ratio we can see how the magnitude of the
receptance is decreasing as the damping ratio increases in
the resonance zone.
On the other hand, as the magnitude plot, the phase
angle of the frequency response is plotted in function of the
angular frequency in a logarithmic scale (Figure 5b). This
plot allows us to analyze the displacement in phase of a
systems behavior at the output with respect to the input. As
seen in the figure the behavior of the system at the output
with respect to the input decreases its variation as the
damping ratio increases.
The behavior of the Frequency Respond Function of the
displacement of a system can be controlled by three
different parameters, which are the mass for the high
frequency zone control, the stiffness for the low frequency
zone control and the damping ratio for the resonance zone
control. Varying these parameters we can manipulate the
zone we wish to. As we can see in Figure 6, the resonance
and low frequency zones do not vary much, but the high
frequency zone does, as the mass increases it value, the
high frequency zone grows as well. In Figure 7, we can
observe how the low frequency zone of the system
receptance behavior increases as the stiffness coefficient
increase its value. Finally, analyzing Figure 8, we can
observe how the low and high frequency zone do not vary at
all, as the mass and stiffness remain constant, but how the
magnitude of receptance decrease its highest value as the
damping coefficient increases.

[1] Ledezma, D. , Structural Dynamics SDOF Systems
Universidad Autnoma de Nuevo Len.
[2] Irving, T., An introduction to Frequency Response
Functions [online], Consult Date: February 16, 2015
[3] Roy R. Craig, Andrew J. Kurdila Fundamentals of
Structural Dynamics, 2nd Edition, July 2006
Transmissibility Derivation


The purpose of this report was to analyze the time and

frequency responses of a given system, which, in this case,
was a single degree of freedom system. The functions
obtained and plotted can be used in vibration analyses and
modal testing, of different structures and elements, as
buildings when exposed to vibrations during earthquakes
and airplane wings when exposed to the aerodynamic forces
when in flight. The purpose of time response functions is to
obtain the period of time that will take to a system to reach a
steady state after submitted to an impulse type force. The
purpose of the analysis of the frequency response function is
to identify natural frequencies, damping ratios and mode
shapes of the structures. The natural frequency, i.e. the
frequency at which any structure will oscillate if disturbed