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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2017, Article ID 5802702, 16 pages
Research Article

Numerical and Experimental Dynamic Analysis of IC Engine Test Beds Equipped with Highly Flexible Couplings

1Department of Science and Engineering Methods, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via G. Amendola 2 Pad. Morselli, 42122 Reggio Emilia, Italy
2Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Bologna, Via Fontanelle 40, 47121 Forlì, Italy
3Department of Engineering, University of Ferrara, Via Saragat 1, 42122 Ferrara, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to E. Mucchi; ti.efinu@ihccum.onailime

Received 14 February 2017; Revised 27 April 2017; Accepted 8 May 2017; Published 9 July 2017

Academic Editor: Pedro Galvín

Copyright © 2017 M. Cocconcelli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Driveline components connected to internal combustion engines can be critically loaded by dynamic forces due to motion irregularity. In particular, flexible couplings used in engine test rig are usually subjected to high levels of torsional oscillations and time-varying torque. This could lead to premature failure of the test rig. In this work an effective methodology for the estimation of the dynamic behavior of highly flexible couplings in real operational conditions is presented in order to prevent unwanted halts. The methodology addresses a combination of numerical models and experimental measurements. In particular, two mathematical models of the engine test rig were developed: a torsional lumped-parameter model for the estimation of the torsional dynamic behavior in operative conditions and a finite element model for the estimation of the natural frequencies of the coupling. The experimental campaign addressed torsional vibration measurements in order to characterize the driveline dynamic behavior as well as validate the models. The measurements were achieved by a coder-based technique using optical sensors and zebra tapes. Eventually, the validated models were used to evaluate the effect of design modifications of the coupling elements in terms of natural frequencies (torsional and bending), torsional vibration amplitude, and power loss in the couplings.