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In this lab experiment the response of various mechanical system parameters are found either by a step or impulsive force input. Thus several tests are conducted for several parameters, setup force, spring, and damper, under different conditions for both inputs, step and impulsive. Furthermore, to understand the behavior of the system for every test, data will be recorded, and presented in graphs. Position, velocity, and acceleration shapes of the data would be presented. Several parameters like, maximum/peak displacement value, time at which peak displacement is reached, final settling value, and time taken to settle will be identified from the graphs. The preceding parameters will assist in finding the percentage error of the experimental graphs relative to the theoretical graphs.

Dynamic mechanical systems exist everywhere in daily life, from door knobs to car suspensions. The response of such systems to stimuli is of high priority because some of these systems can save lives like the air bag safety mechanism in auto mobiles. The delicate balance between the speed of the bag (on impact) and its stiffness determines whether the driver will suffer a concussion, or walk out safely.

In this lab, a simple rectilinear system consisting of combinations of a mass carriage, a spring, and a damper is analyzed. Specifically, the effect of each element is tested. The system is subject to a unit impulse input and a unit step input. The responses is fed into a computer through an encoder. Then various important parameters of the system can be calculated, such as peak time, settling time, and percentage overshoot. The system is configured for three cases: No damper no spring (system type 2), only damper (system type 1), and spring (system type 0).

1.1 Aims

To obtain the unit step and unit impulse response plots of the system for the different cases considered for the lab.

1.2 Objectives

The objective is to acquire information to describe the response and parameters of some first degree of freedom mechanical systems; a rigid body involving only an inertial (mass) element, a system with a damped rigid body, and a spring/inertial element system.


This experiment was devoted to study the response of various system types to a force step input and to an impulsive force input. These system types are 0, 1, and 2. Three cases for the step input force and three cases for the impulsive force were examined, 6 cases in total. The position, velocity, and acceleration were plotted against time in each case. And the results tables were filled.


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