Fundamentals of Vibration for Test Applications

ICTD International Centre for Training and Development

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ICTD International Centre for Training and Development


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Who should attend

Many engineers need specialized education to properly measure, quantify, and analyze this generally unfamiliar environment and to reproduce it in environmental test laboratories.

This course is for test laboratory managers, engineers and technicians. It also helps quality and reliability specialists and acquisition personnel in government and military activities and their contractors. It is designed to serve the needs of personnel in a wide range of industries where equipment problems may be encountered during the shipment and use of their product.

The instructor maintains good balance between theory and practical applications. Instrumentation specialists who will measure transportation, service, and laboratory vibration need this course. Metrologists learn about vibration the use of sensors. Project personnel, structures and packaging engineers learn about developmental testing. Product assurance and acquisition specialists learn to evaluate test facilities and methods, and to interpret specifications.

About the course

Random vibration and shock are important in most engineering applications where the product is exposed to transportation and to possible vibration and shock during service. The need to understand the effects of vibration and shock on product reliability is paramount today, where electronic/computer components are part of almost every product.

This course covers a wide range of topics associated with vibration and shock applications in order to enable the course participants to acquire a basic understanding of the complex field of vibration and shock. Each of the subject areas covered in this course have expanded coverage in their own three day courses for those individuals who need a more thorough understanding for their application.

Lectures and videotaped physical demonstrations show, for example, how structures behave when mechanically excited, how to use pickups to sense input and response forces and motions, how to read out and evaluate the resulting electrical signals.

The course commences with an introduction to vibration and its effects and then proceeds to cover the basic theory needed to understand the material covered during the three days. While mathematics is kept to a minimum, it is necessary to cover a sufficient amount so that the concepts of vibration can be understood. The course presents some basic theory of data acquisition, electronic filters and measurement systems.

The theory of dynamics is covered, including the relationships between displacement, velocity and acceleration, and then the various types of vibration exciters are discussed. Random vibration theory and the concept of test fixtures and vibration measurement are discussed before proceeding to cover vibration testing, mechanical shock applications and environmental stress screening, as well as HALT and HASS applications

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, the delegates will be able to:-

  • Understand fundamental of vibration
  • Select what measurement methods for which suitable vibration problem
  • Design and execute vibration measuring chain
  • Avoid error during vibration measurement
  • Identify and describe critical path of rotating machinery faults
  • Implement corrective action to release vibration problem
  • Apply the concepts of diagnostic system
  • Create vibration analysis technical reports

Course Outline

Day 1

Introduction to Vibration

Basic Concepts and Terminology

  • Spectra
  • Transfer Functions
  • Understanding Decibels (dB) and Octaves

Electronic Filters & Measurement Systems

  • Low-pass, High-pass and Bandpass Networks
  • Understanding RMS
  • Complex Signals, Random Signals

Dynamic Force and Motion

  • Laws of Motion, Weight vs. Mass
  • Gravity
  • Force, Mass, Acceleration
  • Work, Power, Energy
  • Degrees of Freedom
  • Natural Frequency
  • Harmonic Waves
  • Transmissibility
  • Isolation
  • Damping

Day 2

Vibration Exciters (Shakers)

  • Electrohydraulic (EH) Shakers
  • Electrodynamic Shakers
  • Force Rating and Available Acceleration
  • Table Expanders and Oil-Slip Tables

Random Vibration

  • Statistics
  • Probability Distributions
  • Random Data Spectrum
  • Normal Distribution Curve
  • Power Spectral Density
  • Deriving RMS G from Spectral Plot


  • Materials
  • Fabrication methods

### Day 3

Vibration Measurement

  • Velocity, Displacement Sensing
  • Strain Measurement
  • Wheatstone Bridges
  • Accelerometers
  • Mounting, Cabling
  • Signal Conditioning
  • Charge Amplifiers

Power Amplifiers, Effects of Resonance

  • Vibration Testing
  • Types of Testing
  • Development
  • Qualification
  • Acceptance
  • Screening
  • Reliability
  • Life
  • Closed Loop Control
  • Function generators
  • Shaker Control-Input or Response
  • Notching
  • Slip Tables
  • Accelerated Vibration Testing
  • Multiple DOF Testing

Basics of Spectral Analysis

  • Time and Frequency Domain
  • Spectral Analysis
  • Phase
  • Fourier Transforms
  • Discrete Fourier Analysis
  • Fast Fourier Transform (FFT)
  • Transfer Function
  • Shannon’s Theorem
  • Nyquist Frequency
  • Sampling Examples
  • Aliasing
  • FFT Distortion
  • Windowing

Day 4

Sine Vibration Testing

  • Closed Loop Control
  • Sine Sweeps
  • Effect of Sweep Speed
  • Resonant Search
  • Plotting the Crossover Frequency

Random Vibration Testing

  • Calculating RMS from PSD
  • Gaussian Random Signal
  • Standard Deviation
  • Statistical Degrees of Freedom
  • Accuracy/Confidence
  • Random Control
  • Actuator System Transfer Function
  • Sine on Random, Random on Random
  • Over-test Protection

### Day 5

Mechanical Shock

  • Shock Testing on various machines
  • MIPS Table
  • Shock Response Spectrum
  • Transient Tests
  • Definition
  • Types
  • Analysis Options
  • SRS Mechanical Analog
  • Element Dynamic Response
  • SRS Analysis Element
  • Assembly of Filter Elements
  • SRS Analysis Procedure

Environmental Stress Screening

  • Thermal, Vibration Environments
  • Step Stress Tests
  • HALT and HASS Standards vs. Specifications

Course Methodology

A variety of methodologies will be used during the course that includes:

  • (30%) Based on Case Studies
  • (30%) Techniques
  • (30%) Role Play
  • (10%) Concepts
  • Pre-test and Post-test
  • Variety of Learning Methods
  • Lectures
  • Case Studies and Self Questionaires
  • Group Work
  • Discussion
  • Presentation

Videos and materials

Fundamentals of Vibration for Test Applications at ICTD International Centre for Training and Development

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Full disclaimer.

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