Understanding Vibration – #2 Getting to Know Engineering Vibration

Now that we’ve got a good understanding of the principles of vibration, let’s look at the types we encounter in architecture and design.

The first is static vibration. This might seem like a contradiction of terms, but don’t stress it. Static vibration is the one-off events with low frequencies. Thump your fist on the table, and you’ve created a static vibration event. Second is quasi-static vibration.

This is the kind of sporadic vibration from environmental factors like wind or waves causing wires or louvres to flutter.

At up to 3 Hz (equivalent to 180 RPM), quasi-static vibrations tend to be well below the range of human hearing but can travel far throughout a structure – if they’re not isolated.

Lastly, there’s full dynamic vibration, caused by rotation equipment like fans, air conditioning units, pumps and motors, everywhere from 3 Hz up to hundreds of Hz or thousands of RPM. These much faster – and so higher – oscillations and vibrations can span the range of human hearing and can affect equipment in a myriad of ways.

Each type of vibration has the same principles – magnitudes, frequencies, certain periods of duration – but, from an engineering perspective, they require vastly different approaches. And often it’s this last type – the full dynamic vibration – that gets overlooked or shortcut in the design process, and that can be a big problem. Let’s take a look at why.

Unfortunately, vibration is often overlooked or oversimplified, even by some of the greatest architects and engineers. Download the ebook to make sure you’re prepared for vibrations in any form they come.

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