Shock and Vibration Testing: Electrodynamic Shakers and Shaker-Amplifier Systems

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If you're in the market for electrodynamic vibration-testing equipment, look for a manufacturer offering a range of transducers (shakers) as well as high-dissipation shaker power amplifiers and vibration controllers. These shakers and amplifiers, in various combinations, produce a wide variety of vibration performance levels. The manufacturer may offer combinations (or systems) that offer cost-effective solutions to your requirements. These systems often include all necessary shaker to amplifier interconnecting cables as well as a cooling blower and hose when cooling is required. Some systems are often supplied with an amplifier rack-panel cabinet.

When shakers are matched with different amplifiers, systems with specific vibration capabilities are produced. Therefore, system specifications, rather than the individual component specifications, reflect the vibration capabilities. The system specifications will be equal to or less than the individual shaker maximum ratings. In addition to the basic system consisting of a shaker and an amplifier, be sure the manufacturer or vendor offers vibration controllers and other accessories to tailor the system to specific needs.

above: A typical electrodynamic shaker and amplifier system. This one from VR Corp.

The following specifications for the above system can give you an idea of what to look for when comparing systems:

System Components

  • Electrodynamic Shaker
  • Linear Power Amplifier


  • Vibration isolation mounts
  • Pneumatic payload support
  • "DuoBase" horizontal/vertical table
  • Thermal chamber interface
  • Metric inserts
  • Head plates and fixtures
  • Vibration controller
  • Rack cabinet

System Specifications

  • Sine Force: 225 lbs force peak
  • Random Force: 110 lbf rms random
  • Shock Force: 330 lbf peak shock
  • Frequency Range: DC to 4500 Hz
  • Max Acceleration:
    • 45 g pk, bare table
    • 32 g pk, 2 lb load
    • 15 g pk, 10 lb load
  • Max Velocity: 70 ips pk
  • Max Displacement Continuous:
    • 1.0 inch pk-pk, bare table
    • Between stops: 1.2 inch pk-pk, bare table
  • Power Requirements: 3500 VA @ 100, 110, 200, 220 or 240V, 1Ø, 50/60 Hz

The manufacturer of the shaker system should also provide frequency-response curves for their products. The curves below are of the VR Corp amplifier-shaker system in the image above.

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Updated: Saturday, 2017-04-08 9:40 PST