Vibration - Types of Vibration

Types of Vibration

Free vibration occurs when a mechanical system is set off with an initial input and then allowed to vibrate freely. Examples of this type of vibration are pulling a child back on a swing and then letting go or hitting a tuning fork and letting it ring. The mechanical system will then vibrate at one or more of its "natural frequency" and damp down to zero.

Forced vibration is when an alternating force or motion is applied to a mechanical system. Examples of this type of vibration include a shaking washing machine due to an imbalance, transportation vibration (caused by truck engine, springs, road, etc.), or the vibration of a building during an earthquake. In forced vibration the frequency of the vibration is the frequency of the force or motion applied, with order of magnitude being dependent on the actual mechanical system.

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