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Types of excitations

1 Introduction
It is appropriate that the principal vibration exciting sources be addressed first, since with high excitation
levels excessive vibration can occur almost independently of system structural characteristics. In general,
the major sources are the low-speed diesel main engine and the propeller. Gas turbines are generally
considered to give less excitation than diesel engines. Thus, in this section, attention is paid to the
excitation of the low-speed main diesel engine.
3 Low-speed Main Diesel Engine
Significant progress has been made in recent years by engine manufacturers in reducing vibratory
excitation, largely by moment compensators installed with the engine. Steps to be taken by the engine
manufacturer are to be addressed in main engine specifications for a new vessel. In this regard, it is
important for the shipyard or owner to be technically knowledgeable on this issue. Diesel engine vibratory
excitation can be considered as composed of three periodic force components and three periodic moment
components acting on the engine foundation. Actually, the periodic force component along the axis of the
engine is inherently zero, and some other components usually balance to zero depending on particular
engine characteristics.
Two distinctly different types of forces can be associated with the internal combustion reciprocating
engine. These are: (a) gas pressure forces due to the combustion processes (guide force couples) and (b)
inertia forces produced by the accelerations of the reciprocating and rotating engine parts (external forces).
Section 3, Figure 1 shows the typical external force and moments acting on a diesel engine.