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4.

0 PROCEDURE
A. Free and Undamped Oscillation
1. The following combination are tested.
Experiment
1
2
3
4
5

Spring No.,
Constant, c in
N/mm
1,0.84
1,0.84
2,1.44
2,1.44
3,3.09

Lever arm, a in
mm
680
530
530
330
330

2. The spring as per table were fitted and lock nuts was used to secured it.
3. Horizontally aligned beam
Weight of the beam, m =
1.68 kg Length of the
beam, L = 730 mm
4. Stylus was inserted and recorder was started.
5. Beam was deflected by hand allowed it to come to rest.
6. Recorder was stopped.
7. Experiment was repeated with other springs and lever arms.
B. Free and Damped Oscillation
1. Spring 1, c=0.84 N/mm was mounted at a=650mm and lock nuts was
used to secured it.
2. Horizontally aligned beam.
3. The following combinations are tested.
Experiment
1
2
3
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Lever arm, b in mm
130
330
530

Damper was fitted as per table above.


Stylus was inserted.
Recorder was started.
Beam was deflected by hand allowed it to come to rest.
Recorder was stopped.
Experiment was repeated with different damper setting and lever arms.

C. Theory
D. Damping Ratio Estimation
E.
The damping ratio is a measure of how quickly energy is dissipated
from a vibration system. In reality, all physical systems possess some
amount of damping. If one looks at a time domain trace of a simple springmass-damper oscillator, as obtained by displacing the mass through an initial
distance yo and releasing, the free vibration decay would look similar to
Figure 2.
F.
The damped natural frequency d is influenced by the damping and is
given by:
G.
H.

d n 1 2

J.

As the damping ratio increases the decay also increases. An example is the
automobile shock absorbers where the damping ratio ranges between 0.1 (old
shock absorber, relatively ineffective at damping out vehicle oscillations) and 0.4
(new and relatively effective at damping out suspension oscillations). In many
applications it is desirable to have a large damping ratio to quickly eliminate
undesirable motions. In other applications, high damping ratios translate into high
energy dissipation (losses) and hence low efficiencies. Also, this can create
thermal problems due to the heat generated by the damper. Therefore,
measuring the damping ratio is critical to understanding the behaviour of a
dynamic mechanical system.

Figure 2: Free vibration with damping

L.

M.
N.

Free and Undamped Oscillation

O.
The proportionality constant, k, is the stiffness of the spring and has units of force/distance
(e.g. lbf/in or N/m). The negative sign indicates that the force is always opposing the motion of the
mass attached to it:

Fs=kx

P.
Q.

R.
The force generated by the mass is proportional to the acceleration of the mass as given
by Newtons second law of motion :

S.

F=ma=m x

T.

U. The sum of the forces on the mass then generates this ordinary differential equation:

V.
W.
X.

Y. Assuming that the initiation of vibration begins by stretching the spring by the distance of A and
releasing, the solution to the above equation that describes the motion of mass is:

Z.
AA.
AB.

This solution says that it will oscillate with simple harmonic motion that has
an amplitude of A and a frequency of fn. The number fn is called the undamped natural
frequency. For the simple massspring system, fn is defined as:

AC.

fn=

1
k

2 m

AD. Note: angular frequency (=2 f) with the units of radians per second is often used in
equations because it simplifies the equations, but is normally converted to ordinary
frequency (units of Hz or equivalently cycles per second) when stating the frequency of a
system. If the mass and stiffness of the system is known, the formula above can determine the
frequency at which the system vibrates once set in motion by an initial disturbance. Every
vibrating system has one or more natural frequencies that it vibrates at once disturbed. This
simple relation can be used to understand in general what happens to a more complex system
once we add mass or stiffness. For example, the above formula explains why, when a car or
truck is fully loaded, the suspension feels softer than unloadedthe mass has increased,
reducing the natural frequency of the system.