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Vibration Testing

Unwanted vibration brings a serious, unfavorable impact on a machine or piece of equipment. It causes loosening of parts or relative movement among parts in the specimen or test item. To prevent vibration from producing wear, noise, or objectionable working characteristics, vibration testing can be done. The shocking or shaking of a product or component to find out its ability to exist in a real-world situation is called vibration testing.

Vibration testing is aimed at knowing the effects and consequences of vibration on its component parts inside the principal frequency ranges and magnitudes that may be experienced while in field service or in transportation. This test can also be used to discover the weak points in a product design. Vibration testing is useful in many applications ranging from household equipment and appliances, vehicles and circuit boards to aircraft.

Most vibrations that come up in field service or in transportation aren’t of a simple harmonic nature. However, the tests based on this type of vibration have been satisfactory in pointing out important frequencies, vibration modes, and other information needed for setting up protective methods against the effects and consequences of unwanted vibration. To simulate real-world situations, vibration tests can also be combined with some environmental tests.

Carrying out a vibration test either in the testing field or in the laboratory makes use of climatic chambers, data analyzers, vibration exciters, controllers, and other instruments. But before setting up for a vibration test, you should have a thorough understanding of the surroundings in which the device will have to survive. It is also important to know the type of vibration applied into it.

Vibration can be sinusoidal or random. One clear example of a random vibration is the vibration that a vehicle-mounted device undergoes when rolling or passing across coarse and uneven terrain. On the other hand, sinusoidal vibration is a constant vibration like a rotating helicopter engine.

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