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Systems in Motion:
Dynamics of Three
Dimensional (3D) Motion
Dr. Wayne Whiteman
Director of the Office of Student Services
School of Mechanical Engineering

## This course is an advanced study of bodies in motion as applied to

engineering systems and structures.

## School of Mechanical Engineering

Module 24 Learning Outcome
 Define Principal Axes and Principal Moments
of Inertia

2
Recall, in general, the inertia matrix about any point in a body is:
 I xx I xy I xz  - Inertial Property Matrix (Inertia Matrix)
 
I F   I xy I yy I yz  - Symmetric
 I xz I yz I zz  - Includes info about mass, shape, and geometry
 
If, for a particular coordinate orientation: I xy  I xz  I yz  0
I  0 0 
Such that:  xx 

I B  0 I yy 0 
 
 0 0 I zz 

Then x, y, z axes are called principal axes
The moments of inertia with respect to the principal axes are
called principal moments of inertia, I  , I  , I 
xx yy zz
3
Recall Moment of Momentum (Angular Momentum)
For Mass Center C  I xxC I xyC I xzC   x 
  C   B
H C   I xy C
I yy I yzC   y 
 I xzC I yzC I zzC   z 
 
 F
Consider B / F   iˆ where x,y,z is centered at C
(x-axis is parallel to angular velocity)

Then H C  I xx  iˆ  I xyC  ˆj  I xzC  kˆ
Used with permission from “Engineering
C Mechanics: Dynamics,” McGill/King, 4th Ed, 2003

 
H C is parallel to  iff I xy  I xz  0
C C

## Then x is defined as a principal axis

(the products of inertia vanish)
 
H C parallel to  defines a principal axis

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Principal Axes
 
H C parallel to  defines a principal axis
B

Note: F
For a body spinning about a principal axis,
motion continues about that axis without Used with permission from “Engineering
Mechanics: Dynamics,” McGill/King, 4th Ed, 2003
any need for external moments to
maintain that motion.