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Modal analysis of a lightweight structure - investigation of the effects of the supports on the structural dynamics

Munsi, A.S.M.Y. and Waddell, A.J. and Walker, C.A. (2002) Modal analysis of a lightweight structure - investigation of the effects of the supports on the structural dynamics. Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, 16 (2-3). pp. 273-284. ISSN 0888-3270

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This study grew out of the use of vibration to modify welding stresses, and the corresponding need to understand the modal vibration properties of the test structures. Supporting the structure is a practical problem in experimental modal analysis. In this study the effect of the supports on the dynamic properties of a lightweight structure were investigated. Thick rubber bungee supports and thin elastic band supports were used in the investigation. The effect of the position of the supports was found to be insignificant if a proper type of support is used. It was observed that with the thick bungees the modes become invisible or obscure on the frequency response function (FRF) curves. On the other hand, the thin elastic band supports provide very clear FRF curves and hence clear mode shapes. It has been suggested that the bungees should be chosen considering the weight of the structure and the requirement of the vibration amplitude in the modal analysis and/or in the subsequent treatments. The position of the bungees should be chosen at the node points of a particular mode of the structure to reduce the support effects further.