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I need to design a vibration table (approx. 1000mx1000mm) to test products between 7-200Hz.

I was wondering if it is recommended to make the table structure from standardised, extruded aluminum profiles bolted together to reduce the cost (material + time) or does one have to go with a welded structure?

Yes, I am aware of the results of the Junker vibration test with regards to bolted connections and it seems like a bad idea because all the fasteners would loosen. However, maybe there is a workaround to use these aluminum profiles?

I sincerely appreciate any advice and/or previous experiences with these.

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  • $\begingroup$ The basic requirement is that the table itself has no dynamic response in the frequency range you want to test. It also needs to withstand the weight of the test pieces, times the "g" loads you will encounter during testing. Bolting together some aluminium extrusions sounds optimistic, unless you are only going to test light objects at low vibration levels. $\endgroup$ – alephzero Feb 24 at 16:10
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    $\begingroup$ Are the dimensions for your proposed table correct 1000x1000 m is 1x1 km. That's huge! $\endgroup$ – Fred Feb 24 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ @alephzero: thank you; yes, these will be 'light' objects up to 5kg; obviously, I would do the simulation first to find the dynamic response. At this point I am worried about the bolted connections. And yes, obviously [mm] :) $\endgroup$ – filiply Feb 24 at 17:27
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Most vibration fixtures are made of magnesium, at least they are for spacecraft launch vibration simulation.

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Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

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    $\begingroup$ Would you please edit and expand upon your answer, providing some references or examples? $\endgroup$ – GlenH7 Feb 25 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ This article about vibration tests also points that test fixtures are "often made of magnesium to help keep the weight down". $\endgroup$ – jjmontes Aug 12 at 17:24
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In addition to the replies you got on Eng-Tips site; at normal stress levels, steel has an unlimited fatigue life while the fatigue life of the aluminum will depend on the stress level and number of cycles. And the greater stiffness of welded steel may be an advantage.

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