The dynamic response of a mechanical structure while either in a development phase or an actual use environment can readily be determined by impulse force testing. Using a FFT analyzer, the transfer function of the structure can be determined from a force pulse generated by the impact of a hammer and the response signal measured with an accelerometer. The impulse force test method, yields extensive information about the frequency and attenuation behavior of the system under test.
The stainless steel head of an impulse force hammer, is equipped with a quartz, low impedance force sensor which accepts impact tips varying in hardness. A selection of steel, plastic, PVC and rubber tips along with an extender mass allow the hammer to be tailored to impart to the test structure, a desired spectrum of frequencies. Shear quartz accelerometers operating in a voltage mode and featuring insensitivity to base strain, thermal transients and transverse motion are available to measure the response of the test specimens ranging from thin walled structures to steel bridge members.