Recommended Vibration Literature

Favorite Texts from The Modal Shop Team

The Modal Shop Team is often asked for a list of resource texts in the field of vibration. It's made us contemplate what makes a useful technical book.

With all the books available it can be difficult to compile a list. The book’s basic organizing idea, the writing style and quality, the author’s background, the approach to technical topics were all things to consider when creating this reference list. With all of that in mind, below are 6 recommendations, plus a bonus!    

The following books reflect my personal reference list assembled over the years. Included in the descriptions are links to more information such as prices, availability and reviews.

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Harris' Shock and Vibration Handbook

by Allan Piersol

Where else would you find the broadest selection of shock and vibration topics covered in a single place by some of the world experts in the field? The chapter on Modal Analysis and Testing by University of Cincinnati professors Randy Allemang and David Brown is one of our favorites. This Harris' handbook has graduated to its 6th edition and is a must-have for any vibration library.

stp recommended-literature application 2

Vibration Testing: Theory and Practice

by Kenneth McConnell and Paulo Varoto

A good engineering textbook for engineers working with component vibration testing. It provides good coverage of vibration exciters, shaker amplifiers, signal-processing equipment, transducer measurement considerations, frequency analysis, etc.

Modal Testing: A Practitioner's Guide

by Peter Avitabile

Ideal for explaining modal testing in a way that meets engineers where they are, this book provides real-world examples that are easy to understand. This practical text is not about developing the details of the theory but rather applying the theory to solve real-life problems.

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A Minimal-Mathematics Introduction to the Fundamentals of Random Vibration and Shock Measurements, Analysis and Calibration

by Wayne Tustin

A great book for the vibration test engineer with extensive coverage of test equipment and techniques. Wayne — a test industry veteran — shares his decades of experience in vibration shaker testing with lots of real world examples and test advice. The current edition is richly illustrated with application pictures and is available as an ebook for your iPad.

stp recommended literature application 5

Introduction to Machine Vibration

by Glenn White

A reference textbook for the vibration professional working in the condition monitoring and predictive maintenance fields. The principles of vibration are presented as applied to machine operation, fault diagnostics, deficiencies and root cause failure analysis.

stp recommended-literature application 6

Modal Testing, Theory, Practice, and Application

by D. J. Ewins

First published in 1984, Professor Ewins’ book is one of the most well-known modal testing books available. It provides a great introduction to the theoretical basis of modal testing. The language is very accessible and the physics and mathematics knowledge that follow are not overwhelming. The second edition has brought application updates such as modal testing to rotating machinery and the use of the scanning laser vibrometer.

stp recommended literature application 7

The Fundamentals of Modal Testing

Hewlett-Packard Application Note 243-2

Today most people recognize HP for its printers and notebooks, but for more than half a century, the company founded by Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett in a garage in Palo Alto, California, helped to write the history of testing technology. HP played a large role in the sound and vibration industry from the 1960’s into the late 1990’s. The HP Memory Project website is an incredible repository of historical and technical material.