Access to Accelerometers

What is Vibration?

Basics of Vibration 2

​Relation between Acceleration, Velocity and Displacement

So far we have set all amplitudes to "one unit" i.e. we have arbitrarily chosen the scale to plot the curves in a way that they appeared uniform with the same amplitude. This to make it easier to show the phase shift phenomena between a, v and d.

However the amplitudes of acceleration, velocity and displacement are always in a determined relation to each other which is given by the frequency.

In the following we want to explore this law  in more details.

In a harmonic vibration we can choose one amplitude (for example the acceleration) and the frequency. With this set the other amplitudes (velocity and displacement) will be in a fixed relation as follows:

The notation of the acceleration was:


With constant acceleration and increasing frequency...

the velocity decreases proportionally with the inverse frequency:


the displacement decreases with the

inverse frequency squared:

The respective amplitudes become then:

Or using the frequency notation: 

The linear graph is not very legible.

That's why we normally use logarithmic scales for the frequency and the amplitude.

With         V = ω ⁻¹ ·A

the velocity amplitude V decreases -1 decade per decade

and with   D = ω ⁻² ·A

the displacement amplitude D decreases -2 decades per decade


Dimensions of Acceleration, Velocity and Displacement

In the chapter about linear acceleration we have seen the dimensions of the vibration parameters

which are:

displacement :    meters (m) or milli-meters (mm)

velocity :             meters per second (m/s) or milli-meters per second (mm/s)

acceleration :      meters per second per second (m/s²)

These are also the correct dimensions to use for the vibration terms in the SI-system

(SI = International System of Units)   

However in wide parts of the industry particularly in aeronautics we use also an English system with the following units:

displacement :    inch (in) or mils (in/1000)

velocity :             inch/second (ips)

acceleration :      g ( = acceleration of gravity)

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1g  =  9.81 m/s²

An additional particularity is that the displacement is normally measured in "peak to peak" (pk-pk) values

while the velocity and acceleration are mostly given in "peak" (pk).

Sometimes you see RMS values and very rarely "average"

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