An analysis of the distortion effects of Coulomb damping on the vector plots of lightly damped systems
An analysis of the vector plot responses of lightly damped single degree-of-freedom systems with Coulomb damping has been made. The vector plots, as derived by using both an exact and an approximate method (the method of harmonic balance) are compared and it is shown that the distortion of the normally circular vector locus is due to the Coulomb damping. Although the vector plots of such systems are distorted it is also shown that the frequency gradient criterion is still applicable for location of a natural frequency even when the frictional force levels approach the excitation force levels. To permit estimation of the modal damping of these systems a criterion by means of which the limits of the useful frequency range can be specified is suggested. The criterion, which is based upon the quadrature input power necessary to excite the mode of vibration, is found to be equivalent to that obtained from the half power point theory when applied to linear systems.