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Faculty of Engineering Technology

Hoon Libya
(Fall 2015)

Mechanical Engineering Department

Mechanical vibration Labs
Dr. Mohamed-Ali REZGUI
Experiment N8


1/ Estimation of the natural frequency forced vibration for a rigid body-spring system (case of
rectangular section beam) and compare with theoretical value.
2/ Verification of resonance condition.
When external forces act on a vibrating system during its motion, it is termed Forced Vibration.
Under this condition, the system will tend to vibrate at its own natural frequency superimposed
upon the frequency of the exciting force. After a short time, the system will vibrate at the
frequency of the exciting force only, regardless of the initial conditions or natural frequency of
the system. The later case is termed steady state vibration.
In fact, most of vibrational phenomena present in life are categorized under forced vibration.
When the excitation frequency is very close to the natural frequency of the system, vibration
amplitude will be very large and damping will be necessary to maintain the amplitude at a
certain level. The later case is called "resonance" and it is very dangerous upon mechanical and
structural parts. Thus, care must be taken when designing a mechanical system by selecting
proper natural frequency that is sufficiently spaced from the exciting frequency.
Let's consider the system shown in
Figure-1, consisting of:
(1) A beam AB of length L and mass
m, freely pivoted at the left end A and
considered sensibly rigid.
(2) A spring of stiffness k attached to
the beam at the point C.
(3) A motor with out-of-balance disks
attached to the beam at point D, M is
the mass of the combined part (motor
and disks).
Figure-1 Forced Vibration spring-system

The equation of angular motion is given by:


+ 22 = (0 ) 1


Where : Angular displacement of the beam, F0: Maximum value of excitation force, f:
Angular velocity of rotation for the disk, IA : The moment of inertia of the system about point A,
L1: the distance of the exciter motor from the pivot and L2: the distance of the spring;




Where m the mass of the beam and M the mass of the discs
Eq. (1) can be re-written as:

Where =

+ =



0 1

The steady state angular displacement is given by:

() =


and the maximum amplitude is:


i.e., resonance occurs when

2 = 0



Note that in practical circumstances, the amplitude may be very large but doesn't become
infinite due to small amount of damping that is always present in any system.
The apparatus for this experiment is shown in Figure-2. It consists of a rectangular beam D6,
supported at one end by a pin pivoted in ball bearings which are located in a fixed housing. The
other end of the beam is supported by a spring of known stiffness bolted to the bracket C1 which
is attached to the upper frame. This bracket enables fine adjustment of the spring, thus raising
and lowering the end of the beam.
The DC motor (E11) rigidly bolts to the beam with additional masses placed on the platform
attached. Two out-of-balance disks on the output shaft of the belt-driven unit (D4) provide the
exciting force motion. The exciting frequency can be adjusted by means of the speed control
unit. The safety stop assembly (D5) limits the beam movement for safety reasons.

The chart recorder (D7) fits to the right-hand vertical member of the frame and provides the
means of obtaining a trace for the vibration. The recorder unit consists of a slowly rotating drum
driven by a synchronous motor, operated from auxiliary supply on the speed control unit.
A roll of recording paper is adjacent to the
drum and is wound round the drum so that the
paper is driven at a constant speed. A felttipped pen fits to the free end of the beam;
means are provided so that the pen just touches
the paper. By switching on the motor, we can
obtain a trace showing the oscillatory motion
of the beam free end.
If the amplitude of vibration near to the
resonance condition is too large, we can
introduce extra damping into the system by
fitting the dashpot assembly (parts D2, D3 and
D9) near to the pivoted end of the beam.
Figure-2 Apparatus for the Experiment
Mechanical Vibration Laboratory
1. First, plug the electrical lead from the synchronous motor into the auxiliary socket on the
exciter motor and speed control. Adjust the handwheel of bracket C1 so that the beam is
horizontal and bring the chart recorder (D7) into a position where the pen just touches the
recording paper.
2. Switch on the speed control unit and adjust the knob of speed so that the amplitude of
oscillation is large enough when the exciter motor mid-way between the spring and pivot.
Adjust the location of exciter to obtain largest amplitude.
3. Bring the pen into contact with the paper and record for example 30 cycles or more. Then
measure the length of the trace corresponding to 30 oscillations, d1 (mm).
4. Stop the exciter motor, then measure the speed of paper by measuring the length of the trace
corresponding to for example 20 seconds, d2 (mm). You can use stop watch for timing. The
speed of paper
5. Calculate the total time for 30 oscillations, Ttot (s), by dividing:

The cyclic time is then



and the experimental frequency is


6. Record the distance of the exciter motor from the pivot, L1, the distance of the spring, L2, and
the length of the beam, L. Measure also the width and thickness of the beam to calculate its
mass, m, from the product of volume by density of the steel 7800 kg/m3.

Find the mass of the disc M and the spring stiffness k and evaluate the theoretical frequency

Length of the
trace (paper) for

Velocity of
paper (mm/s)

Length of
recorder trace
for 10 cycles

Time for one

cycle (s)

fexp (Hz)

1) Compare between the theoretical and experimental frequencies obtained in the experiment
and state the reasons of difference if exist.
2) State the effect of resonance and how we can avoid it.
3) What are the factors affecting the natural frequency of a system?