EXPERIMENTAL MODAL ANALYSIS OF A PALM TREE LOG UNDER RADIAL VIBRATIONAL EXCITATION
Keywords:Palm tree, modal analysis, vibration, cross-sectional mode, rot detection, non-destructive testing.
Trees may be subject to rot-inducing agents that degrade the strength of the material making their trunk, and decrease the quality of their crop. Several techniques, both non-destructive and destructive, are available for assessing the extent of damage caused by rot in a tree trunk. The present work presents the results of a preliminary study conducted on a palm tree trunk for isolating a specific mode from its response to a vibrational excitation, namely the so-called “ovalling” mode. This latter is cross-sectional and in a circular cylinder manifests itself relatively locally, i.e. has little dependence on the lateral extension of the cylinder. An experimental modal analysis is made on a piece of a date palm tree trunk when set into vibration through a radial mechanical excitation, and the response is collected at points along a circumference on the trunk. The value of the resonance frequency of the ovalling mode was found to be somehow variable, probably resulting from some coupling phenomena between various modes of vibration due to the inhomogeneity, anisotropy and fibre-like structure of the trunk wood. As rot usually affects markedly the strength of the trunk wood, the frequency of the ovalling mode, which depends on the strength of the material, can be used for estimating the severity of rot attack in the trunk. A numerical simulation is also made to a cylinder as a simplified representation of a tree trunk.
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