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® 1 (2) 1 1
b r = b r =
®2 r2 - 0.1916

5.5 Coordinate Coupling and Principal Coordinates

As s tated earlier, an n-degree-of-freedom system requires n independent coordinates to
describe its configuration. Usually, these coordinates are independent geometrical quanti-
ties measured from the equilibrium position of the vibrating body. However, it is possible
to select some other set of n coordinates to describe the configuration of the system. The
latter set may be, for example, different from the first set in that the coordinates may have
their origin away from the equilibrium position of the body. There could be still other s ets
of coordinates to des cribe the configuration of the system. Each of these sets of n coordi-
nates is called the generalized coordinates.
As an example, consider the lathe shown in Fig. 5.11(a). For simplicity, the lathe bed
can be replaced by an elastic beam supported on short elastic columns and the headstock
and tailstock can be replaced by two lumped masses as shown in Fig. 5.11(b). The model-
ing of the lathe as a two-degree-of-freedom system has been indicated in Section 5.1. As
shown in Figs. 5.12(a) and (b), any of the following sets of coordinates can be used to
describe the motion of this two-degree-of-freedom system:

1. Deflections x1(t) and x2(t) of the two ends of the lathe AB.
2. Deflection x(t) of the C.G. and rotation u(t).
3. Deflection x1(t) of the end A and rotation u(t).
4. Deflection y(t) of point P located at a distan ce e to the left of the C.G. an d
ro tation u(t).

Headstock Live center Dead center Tailstock


(a) (b)

FIGURE 5.11 Lathe. (Photo courters y of South Bend Lathe Corp.)


A l1 l2 B

x1(t) x(t)
C.G. u(t) x2(t )
m, J0
k1 l1 l2 k2 C.G. B
k1x1 k1(x l1u)

k2x2 k2(x l2u)


y l 1u
e C.G. m, J0 P u(t) y2 l 2u

k1 l1 P l2 k2 C.G. B
l1 l2
k1(y l 1u) k2(y l 2u)

FIGURE 5.12 Modeling of a lathe.

Thus any set of these coordinates (x 1, x2), (x, u), (x1, u), and (y, u) repres ents the gen-
eralized coordinates of the system. Now we shall derive the equations of motion of the lathe
using two different s ets of coordinates to illustrate the concept of coordinate coupling.

Equations of Motion Using x(t) and u(t). From the free-body diagram shown in Fig.
5.12(a), with the positive values of the m otion variables as indicated, the force equilibrium
equation in the vertical direction can be written as
mx = - k1(x - l1u) - k2(x + l2u) (5.21)

and the moment equation about the C.G. can be expressed as

J0 u = k1(x - l1u)l1 - k2(x + l2u)l2 (5.22)

Equations (5.21) and (5.22) can be rearranged and written in matrix form as
m 0 x (k 1 + k2) -(k 1l1 - k2l2) x
B R b $r + B 2 2 R b r
0 J0 u - (k 1l1 - k2l2) (k 1l1 + k2l2) u

= b r (5.23)

It can be seen that each of these equations contain x and u. They become independent of
each other if the coupling term (k 1l1 - k2l2) is equal to zero that is, if k1l1 = k2l2. If
k1l1 Z k2l2, the resultant motion of the lathe AB is both translational and rotational when
either a displacement or torque is applied through the C.G. of the body as an initial condi-
tion. In other words, the lathe rotates in the vertical plane and has vertical motion as well,
unless k1l1 = k2l2. This is known as elastic or static coupling.

Equations of Motion Us ing y(t) and u(t). From Fig. 5.12(b), where y(t) and u(t) are used
as the generalized coordinates of the system, the equations of motion for translation and
rotation can be written as
$ $
my = - k1(y - l1u) - k2(y + l2u) - meu
$ $
Jp u = k1(y - l1u)l 1 - k2(y + l2u)l 2 - mey (5.24)

These equations can be rearranged and written in matrix form as

m me y (k 1 + k2) (k 2l 2 - k1l 1) y
B R b$r + B 2 2 R b r
me Jp u (- k1l 1 + k2l 2) (k 1l1 + k2l2 ) u

= b r (5.25)

Both the equ ations o f motion represented by Eq. (5.2 5) contain y and u, s o they are
coup led equations . They co ntain static (or elas tic) as well as dy namic (o r mass) cou-
plin g term s. If k1l 1 = k2l 2, the s ystem will hav e dyn amic or inertia cou pling only. In
this case, if the lathe moves up and down in the y direction, the inertia force my , which
acts throu gh t he cen ter of gravity of the bod y, ind uces a motion in the u directio n, by
virtue of the moment my e. Sim ilarly, a motion$ in the u direction induces a motion of
the lath e in th e y direction due to the force meu.
Note the following characteristics of these systems:

1. In the most general case, a viscously damped two-degree-of-freedom sys tem has
equations of motion i n the following form:
$ #
m m12 x1 c c12 x1 k k12 x 0
B 11 R b $ r + b 11 r b # r + B 11 R b 1 r = b r (5.26)
m12 m22 x2 c12 c22 x2 k12 k22 x2 0

This equation reveals the type of coupling present. If the stiffness matrix is not diago-
nal, the system has elastic or static coupling. If the damping matrix is not diagonal, the
system has damping or velocity coupling. Finally, if the mass matrix is not diagonal,
the system has mass or inertial coupling. Both velocity and mass coupling come under
the heading of dynamic coupling.
2. The system vibrates in its own natural way regardless of the coordinates used. The
choice of the coordinates is a mere convenience.

3. From Eqs. (5.23) and (5.25), it is clear that the nature of the coupling depends on the
coordinates used and is not an inherent property of the s ystem. It is possible to
choose a system of coordinates q1(t) and q2(t) which give equations of motion that
are uncoupled both statically and dynamically. Such coordinates are called principal
or natural coordinates . The main advantage of using principal coordinates is that the
resulting uncoupled equations of motion can be s olved independently of one another.

The following example illustrates the method of finding the principal coordinates in
terms of the geometrical coordinates.

Pri ncipal Coordinates of Spring-Mass System

E X A MP L E 5 . 6
Determi ne the principal coordinates for the s pring-mass system shown in Fig. 5.6.

Approach: Defi ne two independent solutions as principal coordinates and express t hem in terms of
the sol utions x1(t) and x2(t).
The general motion of the system shown i n Fig. 5.6 i s given by Eq. (E.10) of Example 5.1:

k 3k
x1(t) = B1 cos + t + f1 * + B2 cos + t + f2 *
Am Am

k 3k
x2(t) = B1 cos + t + f1 * - B2 cos + t + f2 * (E.1)
Am Am

where B1 = X(1) (2)

1 , B2 = X1 , f1, and f2 are constants . We define a new set of coordinates q1(t) and
q2(t) such that

q1(t) = B1 cos + t + f1 *

q2(t) = B2 cos + t + f2 * (E.2)

Since q1(t) and q2(t) are harmonic functions, their corresponding equations of motion can be writ-
ten as 1
$ k
q1 + + * q1 = 0

$ 3k
q2 + + * q2 = 0 (E.3)

Note that the equation of motion corresponding to the solution q = B cos(vt + f) is given by q + v2q = 0.

These equations represent a two-degree-of-freedom system whose natural frequencies are v1 = 1k/m
and v2 = 23k/m . Because there is neither static nor dynamic coupling i n the equations of motion
(E.3), q1(t) and q2(t) are principal coordinates. From Eqs. (E.1) and (E.2), we can writ e

x1(t) = q1(t) + q2(t)

x2(t) = q1(t) - q2(t) (E.4)

The soluti on of Eqs. (E.4) gives the principal coordinat es:

q1(t) = [x1(t) + x2(t)]
q2(t) = [x1(t) - x2(t)] (E.5)

Frequencies and Modes of an Automobile

E X A MP L E 5 . 7
Determine the pi tch (angular motion) and bounce (up-and-down linear mot ion) frequencies and the
location of oscillation centers (nodes) of an automobile with the following data (see Fig. 5.13):
Mass (m) = 1000 kg
Radius of gyration (r) = 0.9 m
Dis tance between front axle and C.G. (l1) = 1.0 m
Dis tance between rear axle and C.G. (l 2) = 1.5 m
Front spring stiffness (k f) = 18 kN/m
Rear spri ng stiffness (k r) = 22 kN/ m


kf kr

l1 l2


kf C.G. u

FIGURE 5.13 Pitch and bounce

motions of an automobi le.

Solution: If x and u are us ed as independent coordinates, the equations of m otion are given by Eq.
(5.23) with k1 = kf, k2 = kr, and J0 = mr2. For free vibration, we ass ume a harmonic solution:

x(t) = X cos (vt + f), u (t) = ® cos (vt + f) (E.1)

Using Eqs . (E.1) and (5.23), we obtain

(- mv2 + kf + kr) ( - kf l1 + kr l2) X 0

B 2 2 2 Rb r = b r (E.2)
(- kf l1 + kr l2) ( - J0v + kf l1 + kr l2) ® 0

For t he known data, Eq. (E.2) becomes

( - 1000v2 + 40,000) 15,000 X 0

B Rb r = b r (E.3)
15,000 ( - 810v2 + 67,500) ® 0

from which the frequency equat ion can be derived:

8.1v4 - 999 v2 + 24,750 = 0 (E.4)
The natural frequencies can be found from Eq. (E.4):
v1 = 5.8593 rad/s, v2 = 9.4341 rad/s (E.5)
With these values, the ratio of amplitudes can be found from Eq. (E.3):

X(1) X(2)
= - 2.64 61, = 0.3061 (E.6)
® (1) ® (2)

The node locations can be obtai ned by noting that the tangent of a small angle is approxi mately equal
to the angle itself. Thus, from Fig. 5.14, we find that the distance between the C.G. and the node is
- 2.6461 m for v1 and 0.3061 m for v2. The mode shapes are shown by das hed lines in Fig. 5.14.

*u O


O +u


FIGURE 5.14 Mode shapes of an auto-