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Innovative Vibration Learning System

Dr. Budhaditya Hazra, Liang Xu and Dr. Suri Ganeriwala
8227 Hermitage Road, Richmond, VA 23228
Published: January, 08 2015

Abstract


Spectraquest inc (http://spectraquest.com/) introduces an innovative vibration learning system called vibration fundamentals training system (VFT). To meet the ever increasing industrial demands of understanding the dynamic behaviour of high speed machines like turbines, pumps, aircraft engines etc, it is important that the practitioners of vibration engineering get hands on knowledge of structural dynamics and vibration theory. However, to date most of the college and university curricula on vibration theory is mostly theoretical; involving solution of equations and lot of number crunching. VFT system aims to bridge this gap by bringing the classical vibration theory to life. The VFT clearly reinforces the vibration theory concepts by providing a convenient means to validate predictions and to demonstrate the influence of parameter changes on system response visually. Students can perform virtual experiments using the vibration simulation software and then verify the results with actual experiments thereby strengthening the learning of difficult principles. The basic VFT frame consists of two identical test stations mounted on a portable structure. It features into changeable restraint fixtures, optional force transducers to measure the support reactions, sensors to measure deflection and acceleration, and a variable frequency rotary shaker for forced excitation. It allows for the first time to perform almost damping free vibration experiments to verify the theory using SpectraQuest in-house developed wireless sensor technology.

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Introduction to SpectraQuest Vibration Fundamentals Training system (VFT)


With an increase in high speed manufacturing and automation, it has become more important to use the theory of vibration for design and maintenance of machinery. This vibration theory is even more important in the monitoring and diagnosis of machinery malfunctions. Hence an effective manner of hands on teaching of vibration principles is the need of the decade. However, most academic institutions include only theoretical lectures without laboratory exercises due a lack of an apparatus combined with an instrumentation setup. Keeping this chasm between industrial needs and academic output in mind, Spectraquest Inc. has introduced a new innovative and modular bench scale experimental set-up called vibration fundamentals training system.

The Vibration Fundamentals Training System (alias VFT) is a turn-key integrated educational package for teaching/learning the fundamental principles of mechanical vibration as well as engineering mechanics. It provides both a comprehensive hands-on experimental device and an instrumentation package including wireless sensors for performing laboratory exercises to enhance student understanding of vibration theory. The VFT clearly brings classical theory to life by providing a convenient means to validate predictions and to demonstrate the influence of parameter changes on system response visually. Students can perform virtual experiments using the vibration simulation software and then verify the results with actual experiments thereby reinforcing the learning of difficult principles. The VFT provides an ideal tool for damping free vibration experiments using the wireless sensors without affected by the damping associated with the sensor cables. It is a perfect tool for teaching mechanical vibration courses both at under graduate and graduate levels.

In this technote, we present some of the very basic set of experiments that can be easily performed as a part of the vibration teaching curriculum. More advanced applications will be dealt later in subsequent tech notes.

 

Figure 1: SpectraQuest's vibration fundamentals training system (VFT)

Figure. 1 shows the VFT system with the basic modules like: torsional vibration module, beam vibration module, spring-mass-damper system module and vibration control module. Wireless accelerometers are used to collect data in the framework of a wireless data acquisition system. The data thus obtained is processed through Spectraquest's custom built software.

We now demonstrate the usage of the VFT system with the aid of a few simple experiments. The experiments are created in such a way that it can be used by any end-user to incorporate in a vibration teaching curriculum.