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Home > Excitation > Recommended Vibration Literature

Recommended Vibration Literature

by Marco Peres, Product Manager

The Modal Shop Team is often asked for a list of resource texts in the field of vibration. It's made us contemplate what makes a useful technical book.

With all the books available it can be difficult to compile a list. The book’s basic organizing idea, the writing style and quality, the author’s background, the approach to technical topics were all things to consider when creating this reference list. With all of that in mind, below are 6 recommendations, plus a bonus!    

The following books reflect my personal reference list assembled over the years. Included in the descriptions are links to more information such as prices, availability and reviews. There are many other excellent technical books available and we would love to hear your suggestions in the comment section at the bottom of the page. In that same comment section, please share your feedback on the list.

 1. Harris' Shock and Vibration Handbook

by Allan Piersol

Harris' Shock and Vibration Handbook

Where else would you find the broadest selection of shock and vibration topics covered in a single place by some of the world experts in the field? The chapter on Modal Analysis and Testing by University of Cincinnati professors Randy Allemang and David Brown is one of our favorites. This Harris' handbook has graduated to its 6th edition and is a must-have for any vibration library.

 2. Vibration Testing: Theory and Practice

by Kenneth McConnell and Paulo Varoto

Vibration Testing: Theory and Practice

A good engineering textbook for engineers working with component vibration testing. It provides good coverage of vibration exciters, shaker amplifiers, signal-processing equipment, transducer measurement considerations, frequency analysis, etc.

 3. Modal Handbook Interactive CD

by Peter Avitabile

Vibration Testing: Theory and Practice

Technically speaking this is not a book, but rather a multimedia CD including graphs, pictures and text with audio narration. Even today there are still not many good modal test/analysis references: pieces of information are scattered in a variety of different sources which often are difficult to find or access. The Modal Handbook fills this gap providing a great resource and reference for anybody going into the field of experimental modal analysis.

 4. A Minimal-Mathematics Introduction to the Fundamentals of Random Vibration and Shock Measurements, Analysis and Calibration

by Wayne Tustin

Vibration Testing: Theory and Practice

A great book for the vibration test engineer with extensive coverage of test equipment and techniques. Wayne — a test industry veteran — shares his decades of experience in vibration shaker testing with lots of real world examples and test advice. The current edition is richly illustrated with application pictures and is available as an ebook for your iPad.

 5. Introduction to Machine Vibration

by Glenn White

Vibration Testing: Theory and Practice

A reference textbook for the vibration professional working in the condition monitoring and predictive maintenance fields. The principles of vibration are presented as applied to machine operation, fault diagnostics, deficiencies and root cause failure analysis. The book is sold through the Reliabilityweb.com website, but a FREE web version is available at the AzimaDLI website in English and Spanish.

 6. Modal Testing, Theory, Practice, and Application

by D. J. Ewins

Vibration Testing: Theory and Practice

First published in 1984, Professor Ewins’ book is one of the most well-known modal testing books available. It provides a great introduction to the theoretical basis of modal testing. The language is very accessible and the physics and mathematics knowledge that follow are not overwhelming. The second edition has brought application updates such as modal testing to rotating machinery and the use of the scanning laser vibrometer.

 BONUS. The Fundamentals of Modal Testing

Hewlett-Packard Application Note 243-2

Vibration Testing: Theory and Practice

Today most people recognize HP for its printers and notebooks, but for more than half a century, the company founded by Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett in a garage in Palo Alto, California, helped to write the history of testing technology. HP played a large role in the sound and vibration industry from the 1960’s into the late 1990’s. The HP Memory Project website is an incredible historical and technical material. One of my favorites is called “The Fundamentals of Modal Testing” and can be obtained here: AN243-3, 1992, The Fundamentals of Modal Testing

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