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Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/jnlabr/ymssp

Tutorial Review

Moving-load dynamic problems: A tutorial (with a brief overview)


Huajiang Ouyang n
School of Engineering, University of Liverpool, The Quadrangle, Liverpool L69 3GH, UK

a r t i c l e i n f o abstract

Article history: This tutorial is dedicated to the study of structural dynamics problems caused by
Received 24 June 2010 moving loads. Through a simple example of a simply supported beam traversed by a
Accepted 22 December 2010 moving mass, several fundamental concepts peculiar to moving-load problems are
introduced. The necessary mathematics involved is presented. The analytical procedure
Keywords: is also presented for a circular plate excited by a rotating oscillator. Then numerical
Moving load results of a circular beam spinning about its longitudinal axis excited by an axially
Vibration moving surface load are provided. A variety of moving-load problems are briefly
Control reviewed with some published papers and books to help readers quickly get into
Nonstationary
problems of their interests. Readers are expected to get a flavour of what moving-load
Contact
problems are about, what general methods are available and what research has been
Friction
done from studying this tutorial. Knowledge of partial differential equations and
vibration theory of beams and plates is required in order to understand this tutorial.
& 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Contents

1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2040
1.1. Background. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2040
1.2. Classifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2040
1.3. Organisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2040
2. Vibration of a beam excited by a moving mass—analytical formulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2041
2.1. Assumptions and formulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2041
2.2. Critical speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2042
2.3. Perturbation method and combination resonances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2043
3. Vibration of a circular plate excited by a moving oscillator—analytical formulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2044
4. Vibration of a rotating shaft under moving surface load—numerical simulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2046
5. Various moving-load problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2049
5.1. Vehicle–bridge interaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2049
5.2. Vehicle–road/ground interaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2050
5.3. Train–track interaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2050
5.4. Flexible discs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2051
5.5. Friction-loaded discs and disc brake squeal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2051
5.6. Other discs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2051
5.7. Rotating beam/shafts and spindles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2052
5.8. Cranes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2052
5.9. Strings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2052
5.10. Shells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2052

n
Tel.: +441517944815; fax: + 441517944703.
E-mail address: h.ouyang@liverpool.ac.uk

0888-3270/$ - see front matter & 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.ymssp.2010.12.010
2040 H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060

5.11. Moving materials and structures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2053


5.12. Separation and reattachment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2053
5.13. Structural identification and health monitoring by moving loads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2054
5.14. Vibration control of moving-load problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2054
5.15. Random features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2055
6. Numerical methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2055
7. Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2056
Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2056
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2056

1. Introduction

1.1. Background

Moving-load dynamic problems are very common in engineering and daily life. Any structures or machines subjected to
loads which move in space and excite the structures or machines into vibration are such problems. Examples are plentiful.
Vehicle-bridge interaction is an extensively studied moving load problem. Wood saws, computer discs, machine tools,
vehicle disc and drum brakes are just a few examples. If the relative speeds involved are very low in comparison with the
critical speed (to be defined later in this tutorial), the problems can be cast as conventional, non-moving-load problems.
Treating them as moving-load problem involves more sophisticated mathematics and intensive computation.
The dynamic effects of moving loads were not recognized until mid-19th century. It was believed that the collapse of
Stephenson’s Bridge across River Dee at Chester in England in 1847 triggered the research into moving-load problems.
Stoke was credited to be the first researcher who formally analysed a moving-load problem (it is actually a moving-force
problem). This history was chronicled by Timoshenko [1].
Fryba’s monograph described many simple moving-load problems and their analytic solutions [2]. The structural
components concerned were simple continuous elastic media such as rods, beams, plates and shells that are amenable to
analytical treatment. For complicated structures, the finite element method has to be used. If the whole structure is
discretised into finite elements, repeated finite element analyses at each time step using certain numerical integration
schemes in the time-domain are necessary. This is a very time-intensive process. In addition, if two structures in moving
contact have distinct geometry or loading, the finite element meshes of these two structures will not match when one
structure moves relatively from the other. This happens to be the case for a disc brake in that the piston-pad has a finite
element mesh containing a ring for the piston head, while the disc has a finite element mesh having cyclic symmetry.
There are many hundreds of published papers on moving-load dynamics. It is a nearly impossible task to list and review all
of them. Instead, some papers are reviewed in the tutorial when various moving-load problems are discussed. This is
intended to help readers with various interests quickly get into their individual problems.

1.2. Classifications

The earliest moving-load problems are about railway bridges excited by travelling trains. In these problems, the moving
structure basically travels in a straight line. In a computer disc–drive system, the magnetic reader/writer rhead exerts a
moving load in the circumferential direction and follows a circular path.
The simplest type of moving loads is a constant or harmonic, pure force. It will be seen later in this section that a
structure under a moving pure force is equivalent to a non-moving-load vibration problem and does not reveal most
properties specific to moving-load dynamics and hence does not qualify as a proper moving-load problem.
The special properties associated with moving-load problems can be demonstrated by the vibration of a beam
subjected to a moving point-wise mass (so-called moving-mass problem). So it will be used below to introduce some
fundamental concepts. Moving-load problems are usually self-excited vibration or parametric excitation problems.

1.3. Organisation

The organisation of this tutorial is as follows. Section 2 introduces some fundamental concepts of moving-load
dynamics, such as critical speed and combination resonances, using the vibration of an Euler beam subjected to a moving
mass as an example. Section 3 describes the analytical treatment of the more difficult problem of a circular plate (disc).
Section 4 presents analytical formulation and then numerical analysis of a rotating shaft subjected to a moving surface
load. Various moving-load dynamic problems are briefly reviewed in Section 5 with references for readers to explore at
their own pace and leisure. Numerical methods for solving moving-load problems are commented upon in Section 6.
Section 7 draws conclusions and presents an outlook of this topic. This tutorial is aimed at readers who have knowledge of
vibration of continuous systems such as beams and plates, matrix theory and basic theory of the finite element method,
but otherwise unfamiliar with moving-load dynamic problems.
H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060 2041

2. Vibration of a beam excited by a moving mass—analytical formulation

2.1. Assumptions and formulation

To understand how to tackle a moving-load problem mathematically and appreciate the special effects of moving loads,
a simple moving-load problem is first presented and solved in this section. An analytical solution is sought as it provides
an insight into the resonances in relation to the speed of the moving load. The practical background is a vehicle travelling
on a bridge at a constant speed u. The vehicle is represented by a mass with a constant preload (its own weight) and the
bridge by a simply supported Euler beam, illustrated in Fig. 1. The friction force between the mass and the beam is not
considered since it is very small in a vehicle–bridge interaction problem. It is assumed that the mass travels in a straight
line in the horizontal direction and this movement is known; and the beam only vibrates in the z direction. It is also
assumed that the mass does not lose contact with the beam during its travel and vibration. This latter assumption can be
removed though. Please note self-weight of a moving structure should normally be included in moving-load problems.
The equation of the transverse motion w(x,t) for this simple model is
!
2
@2 w @4 w d v
rA 2 þ EI 4 ¼  N þm 2 dðxutÞ ð1Þ
@t @x dt

where r is the density, A the cross-sectional area, E the Young’s modulus, I the second moment of area of the beam; N a
constant force, u the constant travelling speed and v the vertical displacement of the moving mass m. d is the Dirac delta
function. According to Euler beam theory, the right-hand side of Eq. (1) is a distributed force per unit length. The use of d
function is to accommodate a point-wise concentrated load in place of a distributed load. The mathematical complication
associated with moving loads is due to this seemingly innocuous term.
It must be realized that the force on the right-hand side of Eq. (1) is acting on a moving coordinate, that is, the
instantaneous spatial location of the moving mass, which is ut in this case. As a result
2
dv @w @w d v @2 w @w @w @2 w
vðtÞ ¼ wðut,tÞ, ¼ þu , 2
¼ 2
þ2u þ u2 2 ð2Þ
dt @t @x dt @t @t @x @x
when it is assumed that the mass does not separate from the beam during its horizontal travel and vertical vibration. It is
noted here that although this seems an intuitive assumption separation can occur, to be discussed latter in the tutorial.
Now the equation of motion becomes
!
@2 w @2 w @w @w 2
2@ w @4 w
rA 2 þ m þ 2u þu dðxutÞ þEI 4 ¼ NdðxutÞ ð3Þ
@t @t 2 @t @x @x2 @x

There is usually no close-form analytical (exact) solution to moving-load problems. However, a formal solution can be
assumed–the analytic solution of Eq. (1) can be expressed in a modal expansion as
X
1
wðx,tÞ ¼ cj ðxÞqj ðtÞ ð4Þ
j¼1

where qj(t) is the modal co-ordinate for the jth mass-normalized mode cj(x) of the undamped beam (without the mass),
which is
sffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi  
2 jpx
cj ðxÞ ¼ sin ðj ¼ 1,2,3,. . .Þ ð5Þ
rAl l

for a simply supported beam. This is obtained by solving the following eigenvalue problem:
@4 cj
EI rAo2j cj ¼ 0 ð6Þ
@x4
with the same boundary conditions as the beam, which satisfies the following orthogonality conditions:
Z l Z l
@4 cj ðxÞ
rA cn ðxÞcj ðxÞdx ¼ dnj , EI cn ðxÞ dx ¼ o2n dnj ðj,n ¼ 1,2,. . .Þ ð7Þ
0 0 @x4

z
u x
m
o
ut N

Fig. 1. A simple model for vehicle-bridge interaction.


2042 H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060

where dnj is the Kronecker delta. The nth natural frequency of the simply supported beam is
sffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
EI np2
on ¼ ðn ¼ 1,2,3,. . .Þ ð8Þ
rA l
Incidentally, Stanišić [3] used the modes of the undamped beam carrying the moving mass and found that the solution
in the form of Eq. (4) converged very rapidly. However, his modes vary with the location of the moving mass and hence are
functions of time. As a result, his eigenvalue equation is incorrect.
Substituting Eq. (4) into (1), multiplying the resultant equation with cn(x) and integrating it over the beam length,
one can derive
2 X1 2 X1 dc
d qn d q dqj
2
þm cj ðutÞcn ðutÞ 2j þ2mu j
ðutÞcn ðutÞ
dt j¼1
dt j¼1
dx dt
3 s ffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

X1 d2 c
j 2
þ o2n qn þ mu2 ðutÞcn ðutÞqj 5 ¼  Nc ðutÞ ðn ¼ 1,2,3,. . .Þ ð9Þ
j¼1
dx2 rAl n

For a simply supported beam, Eq. (9) becomes


2 3
2 X 1 npu  jpu  d2 q X1 npu  jpu  dq
4 d qn
þ
2m
sin t sin t
j 5 þ 4mpu jsin t sin t
j
dt 2 rAl j ¼ 1 l l dt 2 2
rAl j ¼ 1 l l dt
2 3 sffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
2m X1 npu  jpu jpu2 2 npu 
þ 4on qn 
2
sin t sin t qj 5 ¼  N sin t ðn ¼ 1,2,3,. . .Þ ð10Þ
rAl j ¼ 1 l l l rAl l

Please note that the orthogonality conditions of Eq. (7) have been used in the derivation of Eq. (9). In the above
integration, the following theorem concerning d function must be employed:
Z l
f ðxÞdðxx0 Þdx ¼ f ðx0 Þ
0

where f(x) is an arbitrary function with a certain degree of smoothness on ½0,l and 0 ox0 ol.
Three observations can be made by examining Eqs. (9) and (10). First, the coefficients in the equations are functions of
time and hence they represent a nonstationary system. Second, if the beam is not simply supported (so that its modes are
not harmonic functions of space), these coefficients are not periodic functions of time. Third, if the moving mass does not
travel at a constant speed, these coefficients are not periodic functions of time either. The consequence is that the solution
is in general not periodic if a coefficient is not periodic. Analysis and control of non-periodic systems are understandably
more challenging.

2.2. Critical speed

It is apparent from Eq. (10) that a moving constant mass introduces time-varying inertia, damping and stiffness to the
system, and a moving constant force introduces a harmonic excitation. That is why moving loads can excite a wide range of
frequencies and is more difficult to study. On the other hand, if the moving load only includes a moving force, the vibration
problem thus caused is identical to a forced vibration problem and hence is not considered a proper moving-load problem.
In another word, proper moving-load problems involve at least a mass, or a damper or a spring that is moving relatively to
another structure. Dahlberg [4] showed through numerical simulation that the contact force between a moving mass and a
stationary beam could be as high as 2.5 times the static weight of the moving mass when the inertia of the mass was
ignored (that is, the moving mass was treated simply as a moving force).
It is apparent from Eq. (10) that when
npu
¼ on ðn ¼ 1,2,3,. . .Þ ð11Þ
l
the constant force term on the right-hand side of Eq. (10) behaves like a harmonic excitation with the frequency of
excitation equalling a natural frequency of the beam, and therefore even a constant moving force can excite the structure
into resonance under these conditions. This is one peculiar feature of moving-load problems.
The lowest resonant speed [2] is
lo1
ucr ¼ ð12Þ
p
and is called the critical speed.
Eq. (10) is a system of simultaneous differential equations with time-dependent (periodic) coefficients. As such, there is
no exact solution. Therefore approximate analytical methods or more often numerical methods are used.
H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060 2043

2.3. Perturbation method and combination resonances

If the parameter m is small, perturbation methods can be used to find approximate analytic solutions. These solutions
can offer an insight into the dynamic behaviour of the beam subjected to a moving load.
One perturbation method, known as the method of multiple scales [5], is used to solve Eq. (10). First introduce a small
scaling parameter e so that
2m
eg ¼ ð13Þ
rAl
It follows that (by moving the mass-related terms to the right-hand side of the equation):
sffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi " 2        # 
2 npu  X1
d qj jpu 2jpu dqj jpu jpu 2 jpu npu 
q€ n þ o2n qn ¼  N sin t eg sin t þ cos t qj sin t sin t
rAl l j¼1
dt 2 l l dt l l l l
ð14Þ
where the dot over a symbol denotes the derivative with respect to time t.
The method of multiple scales [5] needs to introduce new time scales
T0 ¼ t, T1 ¼ et, T2 ¼ e2 t; . . . ð15Þ
With the new time scales
2
d d
¼ D0 þ eD1 þ e2 D2 þ . . ., ¼ D20 þ e2D0 D1 þ e2 D21 þ . . . ð16Þ
dt dt 2
where
d d
D0 ¼ , D1 ¼
dT0 dT1
Expand the unknown modal coordinates as
qn ðtÞ ¼ qð0Þ ð1Þ
n ðT0 Þ þ eqn ðT1 Þ þ . . . ð17Þ
Eqs. (15) to (17) are substituted into Eq. (14) and the resultant equation is grouped into sub-equations of like powers of
e. The following equations can be derived as (after omitting terms with powers of e higher than one)
sffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
2 npu 
D20 qð0Þ
n þ o 2 ð0Þ
n qn¼ N sin T0 ð18Þ
rAl l
"      2  # 
X 1
jpu 2jpu jpu ð0Þ jpu jpu npu 
D21 qð1Þ 2 ð1Þ
n þ on qn ¼ 2D0 D1 qn g
ð0Þ
D20 qjð0Þ sin T0 þ D0 qð0Þ
j cos T0 qj sin T0 sin T0
j¼1
l l l l l l
ð19Þ
Eq. (18) looks like forced vibration of a single degree of freedom and can be solved fairly easily. This solution is in the form of
qnð0Þ ðT0 Þ ¼ An ðT1 Þsinðon T0 Þ þ Bn ðT1 Þcosðon T0 Þ þ ½terms due to N ðn ¼ 1,2,3,. . .Þ ð20Þ
where An and Bn can be determined from the initial conditions and the right-hand side forcing term in Eq. (18). Those
terms due to N are already dealt with in subsection 2.2 and hence are not discussed here.
When the above solution is substituted into Eq. (19), many terms arise. To demonstrate combination resonances, those
irrelevant terms are not explicitly shown. The resultant equation becomes
( "  2 !    #
  X1
jpu jpu 2jpu jpu
D21 qð1Þ
n þ o 2 ð1Þ
q
n n ¼ irrelevant terms  g Aj  o 2
j þ sinð oj T 0 Þsin T 0 þ oj cosð oj T 0 Þcos T0
j¼1
l l l l
"  2 !     #) npu 
jpu jpu 2jpu jpu
þ Bj  o2j þ cosðoj T0 Þsin T0  oj sinðoj T0 Þcos T0  sin T0 ð21Þ
l l l l l

Through trigonometry, the products of sine and cosine functions on the right-hand side of Eq. (21) can be turned into
pure sine and cosine functions. As there are many terms involved, only the crucial mathematical parts of them are
explicitly shown. Then the equation becomes
  X1  

nj
D21 qð1Þ
n þ o 2 ð1Þ
q
n n ¼ irrelevant terms g Aju sin pu þ o j T0 þ jAj
j¼1
l
 
 
 

nj nþj nþj
þ Bju sin puoj T0 þ jBj þ Cju sin pu þ oj T0 þ jCj þ Dju sin puoj T0 þ jDj
l l l
ð22Þ
2044 H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060

where coefficients Aju, Bju, Cju and Dju and phase angles jAj, jBj, jCj and jDj can be determined from the derivation of Eq. (21).
The mathematical expressions of these constants are not given here as they do not afford the useful information on
combination resonances.
Eq. (22) reveals a number of new resonances as follows:
nj nj
pu þ oj ¼ on , puoj ¼ on ,
l l

nþj n þj
pu þ oj ¼ on , puoj ¼ on
l l
These resonances can be classified as (when n =j)
npu
¼ on ðn ¼ 1,2,3,. . .Þ
l
which is identical to Eq. (11) and is called a single-mode resonance as the relationship involves only one mode, and
n7j
pu ¼ on þ oj ðj, n ¼ 1,2,3,. . .; n Z jÞ ðsummation typeÞ ð23Þ
l

n7j
pu ¼ on oj ðj,n ¼ 1,2,3,. . .; n ZjÞ ðdifference typeÞ ð24Þ
l
which are called combination resonances as either relationship involves more than one frequency/mode.
Eqs. (23) and (24) indicate that when the speed of the travelling mass happens to satisfy any of these equations, the
whole system will be in resonance, even if the magnitude of the mass is low. The speed causing resonance depends on the
system parameters and involves two natural frequencies of the basic structure (the beam in this case) in the case of
combination resonances. The time-domain response can be aperiodic if the two natural frequencies involved are not
commensurable. This is another peculiar feature of moving load dynamics. Incidentally, there is a possibility that at a
particular speed, more than two frequencies are excited.
One consequence of moving mass (load) is that there are much more opportunities for resonances to occur. In another
word, moving loads can excite many frequencies or a wide range of frequencies. Rao [6] gave a detailed analysis of the
vibration of a beam excited by a moving oscillator using a perturbation method. With combination resonances (called
internal resonances by the author) present, the maximum dynamic deflection can be nearly 4 times the maximum static
deflection. This is in contrast with 2.5 times the maximum static deflection in a single-mode resonance, as reported in
Ref. [4] and also in Ref. [6].
There are numerous papers on beam vibration excited by a moving mass. Interested readers may refer to Refs. [7–11].
Among them, Ting et al. [7] used the Green function in the central formulation of the mathematical model, which has been
adopted by some other researchers. Sniady and colleagues [12] were interested in vibration of beams excited by a series of
random moving forces. For a moving rigid body [13], the rotational inertia must be considered.
A natural extension to the moving mass problem is the so-called moving oscillator problem [14–17], in which the
moving structure is a point-wise system of a mass, a spring and a damper. It is interesting to use the relative displacement
as the unknown to be solved [17]. Beams with other boundary conditions were also studied [18]. Incidentally, the moving
structure modelled as a multi-degrees-of-freedom system [19] will be touched upon in the sections on vehicle–bridge
interaction and train–track interaction. On the other hand, the supporting structure may have multiple spans [20–25].
As the modes of a multi-span beam may present difficulties due to the hyperbolic functions, special consideration is often
needed, for example, by using a semi-analytical approach [25]. A special case of multi-span structures is an infinite
periodic beam as a model of rails [26].
It must be said that although when any of Eqs. (11), (23) and (24) is satisfied, resonance is predicted to occur. In reality,
the moving load on a beam usually stays on it for a short duration (and then exits from it). As a result, the peak amplitude
of the beam will not be as high as the peak amplitude generated by a stationary excitation at resonance. Similarly, when a
perturbation method predicts unstable vibration, actually vibration will stay finite as the cause of the instability (the
moving load) leaves the beam after a finite (usually short) duration. The next section gives an example in which resonance
and instability can occur as the moving load keep energising and never leaves the stationary structure.

3. Vibration of a circular plate excited by a moving oscillator—analytical formulation

The study of vibration of circular plates (discs) subjected to moving loads was initiated in the 1970s. They were meant
to represent computer floppy discs or wood saws. Mote [27] first studied the vibration of a disc modelled as a thin, flat,
circular Kirchhoff plate subjected to a moving mass. Mote and his colleagues have published numerous papers on the
vibration of different disc models under various moving loads. Iwan and Moeller [28] first studied the vibration of a
spinning disc subjected to a stationary load. In the latter, the gyroscopic and centripetal effects due to disc rotation have to
be considered in the equation of motion of the disc. Vibration of a circular plate excited by a moving oscillator is described
in this section.
H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060 2045

The equation of motion of a circular plate under a moving oscillator rotating at a constant angular speed O can be
written as
!
4
@2 w @w @r w @4 w @2 w @w
rh 2 þ c1 þc2 þ Dr4 w 4 ¼  N þm 2 þ c þ kw dðrr0 ÞdðyOtÞ ð25Þ
@t @t @t @x @t @t

where h is the plate thickness, c1 and c2, are respectively, external and internal damping coefficients of the plate
!2
@2 @ @2
r4 ¼ þ þ
@r 2 r@r r 2 @y2

is biharmonic differential operator in the polar coordinate system, D the flexural rigidity of the plate; m, c and k are,
respectively, the mass, damping and spring constant of the rotating oscillator, N a constant force and r0 the radial location
of the oscillator.
The solution of Eq. (25) can be expressed as below
X
1 X
1
wðr, y,tÞ ¼ cij ðrÞexpðijyÞqij ðtÞ ð26Þ
i ¼ 0 j ¼ 1
pffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
where i ¼ 1 is the imaginary unit; cij(r) the modes of the unloaded, undamped disc in the r direction, and are a
combination of Bessel functions of the first and second kinds and satisfy the following orthogonality conditions:
Z Z b
rh b D
cln ðrÞcij ðrÞrdr ¼ dli dnj , cln ðrÞr4r cij ðrÞrdr ¼ o2ln dli dnj ð27Þ
2p a 2p a
where a and b are the inner and outer radii of the plate, oln the natural frequency corresponding to mode cln in which l and
n are, respectively, the number of nodal circle(s) and number of nodal diameter(s)
!2
@2 @ j2
r4r ¼ þ 
@r 2 r@r r 2

When Eq. (26) is substituted into Eq. (25) and the resultant equation is multiplied by cln(r)exp(  iny) and then integrated
over the radial interval ½a,b and the circumferential interval of ½0,2p, one can derive
2   X 1 X1
d qln c1 c2 2 dqln
þ in þ o ln þ o2ln qln ¼ Ncln ðr0 ÞexpðinOtÞcln ðr0 Þ cij ðr0 Þexp½iðjnÞOt
dt 2 rh D dt i ¼ 0 j ¼ 1
( !   )
2
d d 2 2 d
 m þ 2ij O j O þ c þ ijO þ k qij ðl ¼ 0,1,2,. . .; n ¼ 1,. . .,0,1,2,. . .Þ ð28Þ
dt 2 dt dt

Re-arrangement of Eq. (28) yields


8 9 8
<d2 q  
d qij = <
X 1 X1 2
ln c1 c2 2 dqln
þ c ln ðr0 Þ c ij ðr0 Þexp ½iðjnÞ O t m þ in þ o ln
: dt 2
i ¼ 0 j ¼ 1
dt 2 ; : rh D dt
9
X1 X 1
dq =
þ cln ðr0 Þ cij ðr0 Þexp½ðiðjnÞOtði2mjO þ cÞ ij
i ¼ 0 j ¼ 1
dt ;
8 9
< X1 X1 =
2
þ o2nl qln þ cln ðr0 Þ cij ðr0 Þexp½iðjnÞOtðmj2 O þijcO þ kÞqij
: ;
i ¼ 0 j ¼ 1

¼ N cln ðr0 ÞexpðinOtÞ ðl ¼ 0,1,2,. . .; n ¼ 1,. . .,0,1,2,. . .Þ ð29Þ


A strong similarity in Eq. (29) to Eq. (10) can be observed by comparing them. Like the vibration of a beam excited by a
moving mass, the vibration of a circular plate excited by a rotating oscillator is also governed by a system of simultaneous
differential equations with time-varying coefficients. Again there is no closed-form solution.
Eq. (29) indicates that single-mode resonance occurs whenever
nO ¼ oln ð30Þ
This allows the critical disc speed to be defined as
o 
Ocr ¼ min ln ðl, ¼ 0,1,2,. . .; n ¼ 1,2,. . .Þ ð31Þ
n n
Similarly, combination resonances take place when (assuming n Zj)

ðn 7jÞpO ¼ oln þ oij ðsummation typeÞ ð32Þ

ðn 7jÞpO ¼ oln oij ðdifference typeÞ ð33Þ


2046 H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060

Papers published on disc vibration caused by a rotating oscillator or on vibration of rotating discs subjected to a
stationary oscillator are numerous. Just a few of them are commented upon here. Yu and Mote [29] studied vibration of
asymmetric discs due to imperfection. Shen and Mote [30] found that damping of the rotating system (without friction)
could be destabilising in the supercritical speed range to the stationary disc. Huang and Mote [31] investigated the effect of
a large damping force on a spinning disc. Chung et al. [32] included in-plane vibration and geometric nonlinearity in their
accelerating disc. Discs subjected to loads moving in both circumferential and radial directions were studied by Weisenel
and Schlack [33]. Mottershead [34] reviewed papers on vibration of stationary discs excited by moving systems and the
dual problem of discs spinning past stationary systems, particularly in relation to computer discs and brake discs.

4. Vibration of a rotating shaft under moving surface load—numerical simulation

Sections 2 and 3 present an analytical treatment of a beam and a circular plate exited by a moving mass and a moving
oscillator, respectively. The analytical formulation affords some mathematical insight into the dynamics of these problems.
However, general moving-load problems must be solved by numerical methods, as exemplified in this section.
Consider a simply supported cylindrical beam of radius r subjected to a concentrated load which has three normal
components and travels in the axial direction x on the surface of the beam, as shown in Fig. 2. Its instantaneous location at
arbitrary time t measured from the left end is s(t). The beam spins about its longitudinal axis x at a constant rotational
speed O. For the sake of completeness, some material presented in Ref. [35] is adapted here.
As the equilibrium of a beam is established on the neutral axis, the loads acting on the beam surface have to be
translated to the neutral axis (also the longitudinal spinning axis in this example). When Px is translated to the neutral axis
x, a bending moment Mz must be added, as shown in Fig. 3. When Pz is translated to the neutral axis x, a torque T must be
added, also shown in Fig. 3. Py can be translated to the neutral axis x without adding anything.
Obviously
Mz ¼ Px r, T ¼ Pz r ð34Þ
Using Timoshenko beam theory, there are four unknown displacements to be determined: v and w are the
displacements of the neutral axis of the beam in the y and z directions, j and y the rotations of the cross-section about
the y and z axes. If Newtonian approach is followed, there will be four coupled partial differential equations in these
unknowns. However, Lagrangian approach seems more convenient and hence has been used by more researchers.
The kinetic energy and potential energy of a spinning Timoshenko beam are [35] (adapted from Ref. [36])
Z ( " 2  2 # " 2  2   #)
r l @v @w @j @y @y @j
K¼ A þ þI þ 2O j y þ 2O2 dx ð35Þ
2 0 @t @t @t @t @t @t

Z l ( " 2  2 # " 2  2 #) Z l " 2  2 #


1 @j @y @v @w 1 @v @w
U¼ EI þ þ ks GA y þ þj dx Px þ dx ð36Þ
2 0 @x @x @x @x 2 sðtÞ @x @x

y
y
s(t) Py
Py
Pz
Px z
z

Pz x

Ω
Fig. 2. A beam spinning about its longitudinal axis subjected to axially moving loads (re-used with permission from Journal of Sound and Vibration).
(a) spinning beam and its loads and (b) cross-section of the beam.

Py

Pz
Mz
T

Fig. 3. Loads, torque and moment when the surface loads are transferred to the neural axis (re-used with permission from Journal of Sound and
Vibration).
H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060 2047

where the torsional angle of the beam is assumed small and thus is neglected, ks and G are the Timoshenko shear
coefficient and shear modulus, and other symbols retain their usual meanings. A= pr2 and I= pr4/4.
The virtual work done on the virtual displacements dv, dw, dj and dy is [35]
dW ¼ Py dvðs,tÞ þPz dvðs,tÞ þ Mz dyðs,tÞ ð37Þ
where the forces are linear functions of the local displacements
Py ¼ P y ky vðs,tÞ, Pz ¼ P z kz wðs,tÞ ð38Þ
and P y and P z , and ky and kz are constant. Forces in the form of Eq. (38) behave like a (moving) force and spring each.
As there is no closed-form solution to this problem, an approximate solution will be sought. The solution can be
expressed as
X
n
vðx,tÞ ¼ fi ðxÞai ðtÞ ¼ /T ðxÞaðtÞ ð39Þ
i¼1

X
n
wðx,tÞ ¼ fi ðxÞbi ðtÞ ¼ /T ðxÞbðtÞ ð40Þ
i¼1

X
n
jðx,tÞ ¼ ci ðxÞci ðtÞ ¼ wT ðxÞcðtÞ ð41Þ
i¼1

X
n
yðx,tÞ ¼ ci ðxÞdi ðtÞ ¼ wT ðxÞdðtÞ ð42Þ
i¼1

where /T ={f1 f2 f3y} and wT ={c1 c2 c3y} with fi(x) and ci(x) ði ¼ 1,2,. . .,nÞ being complete and orthogonal sets of functions
(bases) that satisfy the displacement and slope boundary conditions of the beam, respectively, and preferably the mode shape
function of the stationary beam; and aT ={a1 a2 a3y}, bT ={b1 b2 b3y}, cT ={c1 c2 c3y} and dT ={d1 d2 d3 y} with ai (t), bi (t), ci (t)
and di (t) ði ¼ 1,2,. . .,nÞ being ‘modal coordinates’. When n approaches infinity, Eqs. (39)–(42) are supposed to represent the ‘exact’
solution, though its closed-form cannot be obtained. A sufficiently accurate solution can be found with a finite n.
Lagrange’s equation can be written in general as
 
d @L @L
 ¼f ð43Þ
dt @q_ @q
where the Lagrangian
L ¼ KU ð44Þ
T T
q is the generalised coordinate vector (qT ¼ f aT b cT d g in this case) and f the generalised force vector
corresponding to the virtual generalised coordinate dq through the virtual work

dW ¼ f T dq ð45Þ
Substituting Eqs. (39)–(42) into (44) and then (43), making use of Eq. (45) yields
h i
rAAa€ þ ks GACPx Cp ðtÞ þky /ðsðtÞÞ/T ðsðtÞÞ aks GAEd ¼ Py /ðsðtÞÞ ð46Þ

h i
rAAb€ þ ks GACPx Cp ðtÞ þkz /ðsðtÞÞ/T ðsðtÞÞ b þks GAEc ¼ Pz /ðsðtÞÞ ð47Þ

rIBc€ þ 2rIOBd_ þ ðEID þks GABÞcþ ks GAET b ¼ 0 ð48Þ


rIBd2rIOBc_ þ ðEID þks GABÞdks GAET a ¼ rPx wðsðtÞÞ ð49Þ
where
Z l Z l
A¼ /ðxÞ/T ðxÞdx, B ¼ wðxÞwT ðxÞdx,
0 0

Z l Z l
C¼ /uðxÞ/uT ðxÞdx, Cp ðtÞ ¼ /uðxÞ/uT ðxÞdx,
0 sðtÞ

Z l Z l
D¼ wuðxÞwuT ðxÞdx, E ¼ /uðxÞwT ðxÞdx,
0 0

where a dash represents a derivative with respect to space coordinate x.


2048 H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060

Eqs. (46)–(49) are a system of simultaneous ordinary differential equations in the unknown ‘modal coordinates’. They
are solved by a fourth-order Runge–Kutta algorithm.
Consider a simply supported beam subjected to a load travelling from left to right at a constant speed u. The parameters
used in this simulated example are as follows: l= 1 m, r= 0.03 m; E= 2.1  1011 Pa, G = 7.8  1010 Pa, ks = 0.9; Px = 200 N,
P y ¼ 300 N, P z ¼ 1000 N; r ¼ 7700 kg m3 ; O ¼ 1933rad=s. The fundamental frequency of the stationary beam is
pffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
o1 ¼ ðp=lÞ2 EI=rA ¼ 773:135 rad=s. The critical speed of the stationary beam is ucr =246 m/s. For simplicity, ky and kz
are taken to be the same. Five speeds of u= 1 m/s, u =10 m/s, u= 123 m/s, u = 246 m/s and u = 369 m/s are used. These
correspond to speed ratios (defined as b = u/ucr) of 0.004, 0.04, 0.5, 1 and 1.5. Numerical results of the ratios of the dynamic
deflections at the moving load location to the mid-span deflections, a = v(ut,t)/v0, are shown below; where v0 is the static
mid-span deflection of the stationary beam when the load is acting at mid-span. w(ut,t) displays the same pattern and so
its numerical results are not presented. Two cases are simulated below.

(1) ky = kz =0. This is a moving force problem. The results are illustrated in Fig. 4.
At the very low speed of u= 1m/s, the deflection is like an influence line as the dynamic effect of the moving load is
negligible at very load speeds. However, due to the moving bending couple Mz, there is a small-amplitude, high-
frequency oscillation on top of the nearly static deflection curve. This small-amplitude oscillation could mean
unacceptable surface roughness if this is a turning operation.
At the low speed of u = 10 m/s, the deflection is similar to that of u =1 m/s, again close to the static deflection curve,
with small-amplitude, high-frequency oscillation (even though the amplitude become greater and the frequency
becomes lower, in comparison with the small-amplitude oscillation at u =1 m/s).
At high speeds of b =0.5 and b =1, there are considerable dynamic effects in that the maximum deflection ratios are greater
than 1. However, when the speed is very high, say at b =1.5, the dynamic deflection is smaller than the static deflection.
(2) ky ¼ kz ¼ 0:3rAlo21 . The numerical results are illustrated in Fig. 5.

1 1
0.8 0.8
0.6 0.6
0.4 0.4
0.2 0.2
0 0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
ut/l ut/l

1.6
1
1.2 0.8

0.8 0.6

0.4
0.4
0.2
0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
ut/l
ut/l

0.6

0.4

0.2

0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
ut/l

Fig. 4. Numerical results of a at various speeds u. (a) u= 1 m/s (b¼0.004), (b) u= 10 m/s (b¼0.04), (c) u= 123 m/s (b¼0.5), (d) u =246 m/s (b¼1) and
(e) u= 369 m/s (b¼1.5).
H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060 2049

2.7 2.7

1.8 1.8

0.9 0.9

0 0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
ut/l ut/l

3
2.5 1.2

2
0.8
1.5
1 0.4
0.5
0 0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
ut/l ut/l

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
ut/l

Fig. 5. Numerical results of a at various speeds u. (a) u= 1 m/s (b¼0.004), (b) u= 10 m/s (b¼0.04), (c) u= 123 m/s (b¼0.5), (d) u= 246 m/s (b¼1) and
(e) u= 269 m/s (b¼1.5).

It can be seen that the dynamic deflections at the same speeds in case (2) are greater than those of case (1). This is due
to the decreased stiffness provided by the moving spring. The patterns of the deflections remain the same. If, on the other
hand, ky ¼ kz ¼ 0:3rAlo21 , then the dynamic deflections would be smaller than those of ky = kz = 0 due to the increased
stiffness in the moving spring at respective speeds and again the patterns of the dynamic deflections remain the same.
These results are not shown here.

5. Various moving-load problems

To help new researchers of moving-load problems to get into their problem areas quickly, various moving-load
problems are briefly discussed and supplemented with a number of papers and sometimes books on each of these
problems. If an engineering application involves substantial moving loads but is not treated as such or the moving-load
excited vibration is not the subject matter of the work, then this work is usually not mentioned in this tutorial (if such a
work is mentioned below, the fact that it is not treated as a moving-load problem will be pointed out). This excludes many
works on vibration control of cranes, and vehicle and bridge/track/guide-way interaction. Some specialised topics, such as
dynamic fluid-structure interaction, are not covered in this review either.

5.1. Vehicle–bridge interaction

This is arguably the most extensively studied type of moving-load problems. Fryba’s monograph [2] is a good starting
point. Yang et al. [37] presented a comprehensive treatment and their book is highly recommended.
2050 H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060

The many different kinds of bridges make this study very fascinating. Chatterjee et al. [38] studied vibration of
suspension bridges. The bridge was allowed to undergo flexural-torsional vibration. The dynamic analysis included the
nonlinear bridge–vehicle interactive force, eccentricity of vehicle path, surface irregularity (a stationary random process
from Monte Carlo simulation) of the bridge pavement, cable–tower connection and end conditions for the stiffening girder.
The responses from three types of vehicle models, namely, 3-D, 2-D, and a single sprung mass system were compared.
Humar and Kashif [39] simulated vibration of an orthotropic plate for a slab bridge under a moving sprung mass for a
vehicle to identify influential parameters. Heavy vehicles were found likely to be detrimental to road bridges [40].
Vibration of highway steel bridges was the focus of Huang and Wang’s work [41]. Their vehicle was a tractor with a trailer,
together modelled with 11 degrees-of-freedom. The multi-girder bridge was modelled as a grillage of beams. They were
particularly interested in the longitudinal gradient of the road bridge, which was largely ignored by other researchers. Yau
and Yang [42] were interested in reducing vibration of cable-stayed bridges using tuned mass damper. They used a
‘vehicle–bridge interaction element’ they developed before. Lee and Yhim [43] carried out numerical and experimental
studies of dynamic behaviour of long-span box-girder bridges. González et al. [44] looked at the influence of the speed and
distance between vehicles travelling on a bridge and validated their simple model against field measured vibration data.
Au et al. [45] reviewed vibration analysis work on bridges under moving loads, in particular, trains.
The experimental work by Xia et al. [46] deserves a special mention. A bridge located on the high-speed railway line
between Paris and Brussels was tested. It consists of multi-span simply supported prestressed concrete girders. The moving
loads were from high-speed Thalys articulated trains. The project was a collaboration among several international institutions.
Incidentally, foot bridges are excited by walkers. The vibration in turn affects how walkers walk and thus modifies the
forces they apply to the bridge. As a part of a feedback loop, the walking force is actually difficult to characterise as a
moving load. Often walking forces are treated as random loads. This topic is not covered in this review.

5.2. Vehicle–road/ground interaction

This topic is similar to vehicle–bridge interaction. What is special here is that the road or ground may be modelled as an
elastic or viscoelastic foundation or a semi-infinite body, which can even be nonlinear. Rough roads cause random excitations
to travelling vehicles and in return travelling vehicles produce dynamic loads to roads. Simplistic models can be found in
Ref. [47]. On the other hand, Ju et al. [48] investigated ground vibration induced by moving vehicles, including mass transit
systems, high-speed train railway and general railway on bridges, embankments, and in tunnels, by means of field experiments
and theoretical studies. It seems that the closeness of the frequencies of the moving structure and the stationary structures had
a subtle influence on the magnitude of resulting vibration. Koziol and Mares [49] used a wavelet approach for the vibration of a
semi-infinite elastic body traversed by a fast moving load. An interesting idea is the ‘road-friendliness’ of a vehicle [50].
Lombaert et al. [51] built a numerical model of free field vibration induced by a travelling vehicle on an uneven road.
The road unevenness excited the vehicle into vertical vibration that in turn produced dynamic axle load. The dynamic
interaction between the road and the soil was used to calculate the free field vibration based on a dynamic substructure
method, using a boundary element method for the soil and an analytical beam model for the road.
For road vehicles and roads, interested readers should refer to the comprehensive handbook by Cebon [52]. As for trains,
because of the track, vehicle–ground interaction usually involves models of the track and hence will be looked upon in the next
section.

5.3. Train–track interaction

This is another extensively studied topic. Although it is in many ways similar to vehicle–bridge interaction in theory,
track presents some special characteristics. There are two rails resting on sleepers or concrete slabs. Sleepers are supported
by ballast. Various models are possible, ranging from finite-length beam to infinite beam for rails, and from elastic or
viscoelastic foundation to semi-infinite space for the ballast, subballast, subgrade and earth.
Due to the geometric profile of the train wheel and that of the rail head, a complicated contact mechanics problem with
a stick-slip (creep) patch results. The Handbook [53] compiled by Iwnicki covers various relevant topics (including many
issues other than moving-load vibration). Another book on railway vehicle dynamics by Shabana [54] is also well regarded.
Verichev and Metrikine [55] modelled a rigid body travelling on a Timoshenko beam (the rail) supported by an elastic
foundation. Vibration of an embedded railway subjected to a moving load was studied in Ref. [56]. The rail was modelled
as a periodically supported beam in Ref. [57]. Popp et al. [58] considered a more realistic vehicle model. Lou [59] and
Auersch [60] both studied vehicle–track–bridge interaction in the context of rail traffic. Dynamic interaction between a
train and a monorail [61] looks very interesting.
Dinh et al. [62] recently published a paper on the wheel-rail contact for a high-speed train crossing a bridge. There was
a three-dimensional contact at the wheel-rail interface based on Kalker’s theory. Each carriage consisted of one car body
(five degrees-of-freedom), two bogies (each having five degrees-of-freedom) and four wheelsets (each having four
degrees-of-freedom). A ballast-less concrete slab and a girder bridge were modelled. A case study of a ten-car train passing
over a two-span continuous bridge at various speeds and rail irregularity wavelength ranges was made. This seems to be
the most realistic and sophisticated model of vehicle–track–bridge interaction, to the author’s knowledge.
H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060 2051

Sheng et al. (and Thompson’s team) studied ground vibration excited by trains running in tunnels [63] and dynamic
interaction between train wheels and the track [64]. Thompson’s monograph [65] is dedicated to vibration and noise
problems in railway engineering and covers both theory and applications.
Hunt and his co-workers [66,67] developed the so-called Pipe-in-Pipe model for ground vibration excited by trains
travelling through underground tunnels. Its advantage is the low computational effort and hence efficiency.

5.4. Flexible discs

In mass storage media such as CD systems, the disc spins at a very high speed past a reader/writer head. The air gap
between them must be right; if they are too close, the head may run into the disc and cause damage; on the other hand, if
they are too far away, data would be lost or misread. The spinning disc interacts with the surrounding air and presents a
challenging fluid–structure interaction problem. The structural part of the system is also complicated. Iwan and Stahal,
Mote, and Bogy are the pioneers of this research topic. In the early days, the reader/writer system was modelled only as an
oscillator [30,68,69]. Later on, the dynamic interaction between the disc and the surrounding air was studied [70–76] and
the fluid was modelled with increasingly more sophisticated fluid dynamics theories. Flutter instability has always been a
major interest. Nonlinear vibration of rotating discs [77,78] has also been a popular topic.
Stakhiev [79] showed that discs could flutter at large amplitude at high enough rotating speeds in air and would cease
to do so when rotating in vacuum, which is clear evidence that fluid–structure interaction is responsible for unstable disc
vibration. D’Angelo and Mote [70] carried out extensive experiments on discs rotating in open air and in enclosed nitrogen
atmosphere. They found that flutter was due to instability of a reflected travelling wave and flutter speeds would increase
with decreasing air density in the enclosed atmosphere. Renshaw et al. [71] studied flutter of rotating discs and modelled
the air as compressible potential flow. Kim et al. [72] extended the experimental approach to a hard-disc system in
enclosed atmosphere. The method put forward by Hansen et al. [73] took advantage of the differential damping of the
forward and backward travelling waves of the disc.
Kang and Raman [74] made a detailed study of different aeroelastic instability mechanisms of a disc rotating in an
enclosed compressible fluid. Jana and Raman [75] examined rotating discs in unbounded compressible irrotational inviscid
fluid and the competing effect of the material damping and aerodynamic damping on flutter speeds. Eguchi [76] found
through experiments on rotating discs surrounded by a shroud that aerodynamic damping was dominant and the disc-to-
shroud gap was an important factor.

5.5. Friction-loaded discs and disc brake squeal

Disc brakes are such a common component of an automobile that people tend to take them for granted. Yet, they can
emanate all sorts of noise, among which the most irritant one is squeal at about 1 kHz up to 20 KHz (sometime said to be
16 kHz). Many hundreds of papers have been written about brake squeal and a variety of squeal mechanisms have been
put forward. For automotive disc brake squeal, please refer to the review paper by Kinkaid et al. [80].
Research into this fascinating subject can be roughly divided into two categories: that on a simple circular place loaded
with one or few simple oscillators or under a simple distributed elastic medium with friction, and that of a realistic disc
brake. The former will be discussed at first.
Chan et al. [81] treated friction as a follower force rotating around a stationary circular plate as a simplistic model of a
disc brake, similar to the work on a circular plate spinning past a follower force as a model of a computer disc by Ono et al.
[69]. Lee and Waas [82] considered a multi-layered plate spinning past a follower friction force. Ouyang et al. [83]
introduced the negative gradient of the friction–velocity relationship and found some new combination resonances due to
this negative gradient. They also computed the nonlinear vibration of a stationary disc excited by a rotating elastic slider
that underwent stick-slip oscillation [84]. Ouyang and Mottershead [85] explored on what conditions forward or backward
travelling waves dominated the vibration of a disc excited by a rotating oscillator with a follower friction force. They also
introduced a moving couple to a circular plate as a result of the surface friction forces [86]. Hochlenert et al. [87] derived
more complete equations of motion of rotating discs under friction through vector algebra. Spelsberg-Korspeter et al. [88]
went on to study both in-plane and out-of-plane vibration of a rotating disc. Kang et al. [89] included gyroscopic, negative
friction gradient and mode-coupling mechanism in their model of a rotating plate under friction loading.
Ouyang et al. [90] first formally introduced the moving-load model for disc brake squeal. Ouyang et al. [91] and Cao
et al. [92] carried out complex eigenvalue analysis of a vented and a solid disc brakes with the contact and friction forces at
the disc and pads interface treated as moving loads and compared numerical results of unstable frequencies with
experimental squeal frequencies of the same brakes.

5.6. Other discs

Discs are a fundamental component in mechanical engineering. Beside data storage discs and brake discs discussed in
the previous sections, there are also other applications, such as circular wood saws, clutches, gears and atomising discs.
2052 H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060

Hutton et al. [93] are early researchers of vibration of circular wood saws. Tian and Hutton [94] conducted a dynamic
stability analysis of wood saws. The instability mechanism was regenerative vibration that is also responsible for chatter in
machining, to be discussed later in this tutorial.
Another interesting but seemingly obscure application is atomising discs used in centrifugal atomisation for producing
powders. Molten metal (melt) descends on to the centre of a fast-spinning disc (atomising disc) and spreads out on the disc
surface due to gravity and the centrifugal force, the latter of which breaks down the melt into droplets that fly off the disc.
They become powders when cooling down in air. Due to the very high rotating speed and possible asymmetric solid
deposit of the melt because of premature solidification, large-amplitude vibration and loud noise can be excited. Ouyang
[95] studied vibration of atomising disc excited by the melt modelled as moving distributed mass. Deng and Ouyang [96]
considered melt film as a growing wave and predicted powder size.

5.7. Rotating beam/shafts and spindles

Like discs, shafts are also a fundamental component in mechanical engineering. Due to the gyroscopic coupling as a
result of rotation around the longitudinal axis, a shaft subjected to a traverse load in one direction produces not only
deflection in that direction but also deflection in the direction normal to the loading direction and the longitudinal axis.
Vibration of turning operation in machining can be modelled as a shaft under a moving load (from the cutter).
Lee et al. [97] and Katz et al. [98] initiated research into vibration of a rotating beam under a moving load (force).
Argento and Scott [99] considered an accelerating surface force. Zu and Han [100] studied a rotating Timoshenko beam
with general boundary conditions. Lee [101] added the axial force. Huang and Lee’s shaft was a Rayleigh beam [102].
Zibdeh and Juma’s moving load was a random quantity [103]. El-Saeidy [104] used the finite element method and
considered nonlinear boundary conditions. Ouyang and Wang [35] included a moving couple due to the surface feed force
in a turning operation. Moving forces as a linear function of local deflection were considered in [105,106].
Many of the above-mentioned works on rotating shafts were meant to address vibration and chatter in turning
(machining) operations. Huang and Yang [107] simulated repeated cutting of a workpiece as a moving-load problem.
Chen and Wang [108] investigated vibration of high-speed spindles. There was a coupling between the rotating shaft
and the nonlinear bearings.

5.8. Cranes

Cranes take a number of forms. They all involve moving components. A gantry crane and bridge crane travel along
tracks. The trolley moves along the main girder beams and carries a payload which can swing about and excite the
structure into vibration. A tower crane has a jib that carries a payload moving along it and rotates around the tower. A
luffing crane turns around its base while carrying a payload.
Park et al. [109] studied the frequencies and response of a bridge crane modelled as a moving-cart-on-beam system. It
should be noted the model in Ref. [109] was actually for a moving-boundary problem. Oguamanam et al. [110] worked on
the three-dimensional dynamics of a bridge crane. Fung and Yau [111] derived equations of motion for a cantilever beam
rotating in the horizontal plane and carrying a moving mass using Stanisic’s approach [3]. Yang et al. [112] extended their
work to include the payload as a swinging pendulum and derived the equations of motion. Both works were about tower
cranes. Wu et al. [113] suggested a finite element and analytical combined method to compute the dynamics response of a
gantry crane. They also carried out laboratory experiments.

5.9. Strings

Strings are also widely used as engineering components. Examples include electrical power lines and waveguides
(they could also be modelled as beams).
The dynamics of an infinite string on an elastic foundation subjected to a moving force was investigated by Gavrilov
[114]. The nonstationary wave generated at supersonic speeds was the author’s main interest. The engineering background
of this problem is waveguides. Wu and Brennan [115] modelled a railway overhead wire as an infinite periodically
supported string. The steady-state response of a long string on a nonlinear, viscoelastic foundation to uniformly moving
constant point loads was studied by Metrikine [116] in the context of overhead power lines. Strings that move will be
discussed in the section on moving structures and materials later.

5.10. Shells

As the only difference in the vibration of shells excited by moving loads from that of other structures is the governing
differential equations, there is no need to detail the works published on this topic. Only one paper is commented on here.
De Faria and Oguamanam [117] used an adaptive finite element mesh in their work on the vibration of spherical caps
under a moving force or a moving mass. This work will be reviewed in further detail in the Numerical Method section.
H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060 2053

5.11. Moving materials and structures

In some engineering applications, the main structure moves relatively to a stationary load or a stationary minor
structure, for example, cables for elevators and conveyor belts, band saw blades, paper and magnetic tapes and thread
lines in the textile industry. The mathematics of moving structures or materials is very similar to that of stationary
structures subjected to moving-loads when certain assumptions are made. To demonstrate the mathematics of this
category of problems, the equation of an axially moving slender (Euler) beam is used below.
Tabarrok et al. [118] established four nonlinear differential equations and one algebraic equation of a moving Euler
beam whose length can vary with time. When the displacement gradients are assumed to be small and the neutral axis of
the beam is assumed inextensible, the equation of motion of the beam when measured from an inertia (space-fixed)
coordinate frame is (adapted from Ref. [118])
! " #
@2 w @w @w 2
2@ w du @w @4 w du @w @2 w
rA þ 2u þu þ þEI 4 rA ðlxÞ 2 ¼ N dðx0 Þ ð50Þ
@t 2 @t @x @x2 dt @x @x dt @x @x

where x0 is the fixed location of the traverse concentrated force N. Other symbols are the same as those for the beam
shown in Fig. 1.
When the travelling speed of the beam is constant, Eq. (50) reduces to
!
@2 w @w @w 2
2@ w @4 w
rA 2
þ 2u þu 2
þ EI 4 ¼ N dðx0 Þ ð51Þ
@t @t @x @x @x

Comparing the left-hand sides of Eqs. (3) and (50), one can see that the equation of a beam subjected to a moving mass
is very similar to the equation of motion of a moving beam. When the velocity is constant, the latter is simpler in that there
is no d function and hence no time-dependent coefficients for the unknown.
Vibration and dynamics instability of moving structures is a subject in its own right. Here a very limited number of
typical papers are briefly reviewed.
Wickert and Mote [119] modelled a monocable ropeway (such as a tramway or ski lift) as an axially moving string that
transports an attached discrete mass between two supports. A Volterra integral equation was derived with delay that
governed the interaction force in the coupled system. There was good agreement between responses measured in the
laboratory and those predicted by the method.
Hwang and Perkins [120] studied the supercritical stability of an axially moving beam, which may represent a belt.
Zhu and Ni [121] investigated the energetics and stability of translating media of varying length. Elevator cables or wire
ropes of cranes may be modelled by these media. Chen and Yang [122] studied nonlinear free vibration of an axially
moving beam and compare models when the tension in the beam is assumed constant or otherwise. Michon et al. [123]
looked at parametric instability of moving belts under multiple excitations and carried out experimental validation. Brake
and Wickert [124] included a friction force to an axially moving beam as a model for tapes. Huang and Hsu [125] studied
the resonant phenomena of a rotating shell under a moving force. Vangipuram-Canchi and Parker [126] examined the
parametric instability of a rotating ring with moving springs.
Needless to say, those papers on rotating/spinning discs and beams mentioned before also belong to this category.

5.12. Separation and reattachment

When the travelling speed of the moving structure is high enough, it is possible that the moving structure may leave
the supporting structure (separation) briefly. It is also possible for it to land onto (reattachment) the supporting structure
afterwards. If the vertical velocity at the reattachment is not small, an impact takes place and hence excites higher modes
of the supporting structure. The investigation of separation and reattachment may be useful for applications such as high-
speed trains.
Fryba is perhaps the first researcher to study separation of the moving structure from the supporting structure (and the
following impact when the former descends on the latter) [127]. He considered irregularity of the roadway on a bridge
(a beam) and used a linearised Hertzian law for the contact forces between two wheels (rigid masses) and the beam.
However, how impact was dealt with was not presented. H P Lee [9] showed separation of a moving mass from a beam in
simulated examples. U Lee [10] made a more detailed study of separation between a moving mass and a beam. However,
neither considered the reattachment of the moving mass to the supporting structure after separation. Cheng et al. [128]
seemed to be the first researchers to study both separation and reattachment. They put forward a method to determine the
vibration after the impact at reattachment. Stancioiu [129] put forward a simplified method for computing the dynamic
response after the impact at reattachment. They also showed some interesting separation maps (graphs of zero moving
contact force in terms of some parameters). Baeza and Ouyang [130] studied separation and reattachment of a truss-like
bridge structure traversed by an oscillator. They [131] also looked at a jumping oscillator crossing a simply supported
beam.
2054 H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060

5.13. Structural identification and health monitoring by moving loads

Identification of structural damage (including cracks) relies on decent experimental data that contains the information
about the damage. Sometimes it is difficult to excite a real structure into vibration of sufficient magnitude to enable good-
quality experimental data to be measured. As moving loads are capable of exciting large-amplitude vibration, they have
been used intentionally for the purpose of structural identification. As vibration has been a major means in structural
health monitoring, it is also reviewed briefly in this section.
Parhi and Behera [132] made an analytical and experimental study of a cracked beam traversed by a moving mass. The
cracked section is represented by a reduced local stiffness matrix. Incidentally, using a reduced stiffness at the crack
location has been a popular way of representing the role of a crack [133]. Majumder and Manohar [134] used a moving
oscillator to generate data to detect local or distributed loss of stiffness in beam structures undergoing vibration. A time
domain structural damage detection scheme was developed, within a finite element modelling framework, taking into
account time varying structural matrices, structural nonlinearities and spatial incompleteness of measured data. Yang
et al. [135] determined the modal behaviour and forced response of a beam of functionally graded material with an open
edge crack subjected to an axial force and a concentrated transverse force.
Piombo et al. [136] made the more challenging investigation into modelling and identification of a real bridge of three
spans. The bridge, modelled as a simply supported orthotropic plate, was excited by moving vehicles, modelled as multi-body
systems of seven degrees-of-freedom each, with linear suspensions and tyre flexibility. The dynamic response was measured
by seven capacitance accelerometers and processed by a wavelet approach. Bilello and Bergman [137] built an analytical
model for a damaged beam under a moving mass and carried out laboratory experiments. The damage was represented by a
rotational spring in the model. They observed an increase in structural damage sensitivity under the moving load.
Identification of the moving force and damage has been a major interest to Law and Zhu, and their co-workers. Zhu and Law
[138] developed a method based on modal superposition and regularisation technique to identify moving loads on an elastically
supported multi-span continuous bridge deck and examined the effects of different parameters, such as measurement noise,
sampling rate, vertical and rotational stiffness and the travelling velocity of the moving loads. Numerical simulations showed that
the method could identify accurately the moving loads on the bridge. They also found that measured acceleration gave better
results than those from strains, and the number of vibration modes used in the identification should exceed the highest frequency
of the excitation forces for an accurate identification. They presented a time-domain method for detecting damage of a simply
supported concrete bridge structure subjected to moving vehicles as excitation [139]. A damage function was used to simulate the
crack damage in a reinforced concrete beam. Prior knowledge of the moving loads was not required, which is a strength of the
method. Simulation results showed that the method was effective and noise-insensitive. Yu and Chan [140] reviewed the current
knowledge on those factors affecting the performance of identification methods of moving forces.
Paultre et al. [141] tested a number of highway bridges under normal and controlled traffic loads. They wanted to
evaluate the dynamic amplification factor for different highway bridges and develop standard testing procedures;
evaluated the dynamic properties of bridges and in particular the effect of structural reinforcement on the dynamic
amplification factor and the dynamic properties by testing prior to and after reinforcing; calibrated finite-element models
of the bridges being tested; and studied the effects of changes in the stiffness of structural elements and the influence of
secondary structural elements on the dynamic response.
Marchesiello et al. [142] studied structural identification of a bridge-like structure crossed by traffic loads. The task is
very challenging because the system input was unknown (output-only measures). They built a scaled train-bridge model
excited by a crossing train with realistic conditions. Accelerations were measured along the beam bridge at different
locations. They evaluated two identification methods.
Spiridonakos and Fassois [143] presented a study of a similar problem to the above and again used output-only data.
They also tested a laboratory bridge-like structure. Like Ref. [142], Fassois’ group has been interested in time-domain
identification methods. A functional series vector time-dependent autoregressive moving average method was used in this
particular investigation.
Structural health monitoring of structures subjected to moving loads such as bridges has also been an attractive research
topic. Lee et al. [144] studied damage estimation of a bridge structure using ambient vibration data caused by traffic loads.
The method consisted of identifying the operational modal properties. They reported that the identified damage locations
and severities agreed reasonably well with the real damages on the laboratory structure. Ou and his group have worked on
structural health monitoring and vibration control of bridges, oil platforms and high-rise buildings for a number of years. The
work done by them and other researchers and practitioners in mainland China was reviewed by Ou and Li [145].
On the other hand, Deng and Cai [146] identified vehicle parameters from vibration data collected during the period
when the vehicles were running on bridges. They tested a real truck on a real bridge. Nguyen and Tran [147] identified
cracks in a beam from vibration data of a vehicle crossing the beam. The numerical simulations showed the possibility of
using an instrumented vehicle to identify damages in bridges.

5.14. Vibration control of moving-load problems

It should now be clear that moving-load problems are very common and large-amplitude vibration and/or a wide
range of frequencies are often excited. As the vibration is unavoidable, it is sensible to study how to reduce it by passive or
H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060 2055

active means. All the afore-mentioned moving-load problems can be controlled. So this topic naturally involves many
papers.
Most published papers in this category seem to be passive control of moving-mass/oscillator-on-beam problems using
dampers [148–152]. Take the work in Ref. [150] as an example. Younesian et al. used an optimal tuned mass damper
(TMD) system to suppress the undesirable vibration of a Timoshenko beam using a Galerkin’s method. Additionally, they
simulated the dynamic response of an actual railway bridge traversed by a high-speed train and compared the dynamic
performance of the bridge before and after the installation of the TMD system. On the other hand, active vibration control
has also been used. Sung [153] simulated the vibration of a beam traversed by a moving mass with two piezoelectric
actuators at different locations determined by the minimisation of an optimal cost functional. Nikkhoo et al. [154] used a
linear classical optimal control algorithm with a time varying gain matrix (the solution of Riccati matrix equation) with
displacement–velocity feedback. Abdel-Rohman [155] studied nonlinear vibration of long span bridges suspended by
cables subjected to wind and moving loads. A simple controller was designed based on the feedback of the velocity
measurements taken at the control force location.
Lin and Cao [156] looked at motion and its control of a beam fixed on a moving cart and developed a neuro-fuzzy
controller with two separate feedback loops for positioning and damping. This is a moving-boundary problem.
Yau [157] investigated the dynamic response of a maglev vehicle travelling over a series of guideway girders
undergoing ground support settlement. The vehicle is represented as a rigid car body supported by a rigid levitation frame
using a uniformly distributed spring–dashpot system and the guideway as a series of simple beams with identical span.
A PI controller tuned with Ziegler–Nicholas (Z–N) method was used to regulate the electromagnetic forces between the
magnetic-wheels and guide-rail. The dynamic response of the system was solved by a Galerkin’s method and computed by
a Newmark algorithm.
On the dynamic interaction in machining, Alter and Tsao [158] made a detained stability analysis and used an actively
controlled motor for stable turning operation. They also conducted experimental work and showed the effectiveness of their
approach. Yang and Mote [159] modelled a band saw as a moving string and studied active vibration control in theory and with
experiments. Ouyang and Mottershead [160] simulated placing different numbers of oscillators at various locations of a stationary
disc to suppress its vibration caused by a rotating oscillator with frictional follower force and found the optimal solution.
There are numerous published papers on control of various cranes. However, among the limited number of papers read
by the author none modelled the moving-load effects. So only one typical paper is commented upon in this review.
Terashima et al. [161] presented an open-loop control strategy for sway-free, point-to-point motion of a load mass in the
three-dimensional motion of a rotary crane. The minimum time-control problem that considered the change of the rope
length was compared with the pre-shaping control. The proposed control method using the straight transfer transforma-
tion model was shown to be effective in eliminating the influence of centrifugal force from simulation and experiments.
However, the moving loads that occurred during crane operations were not considered.
There are also numerous papers of semi-active and active suspensions of vehicles for vibration reduction. These are related
to moving-load problems but often do not involve the necessary mathematics of moving loads, and so they are not covered in
this tutorial. One work worthy of note is that of Sun [162] on the optimal design of ‘road-friendly’ suspension systems.

5.15. Random features

Many published works (for example, [38,41,51]) on vehicle–bridge/road/track interaction considered the roughness of
the road/track surface. Chatterjee et al. [38] modelled the pavement surface irregularity as a stationary random process
characterised by a power spectral density function (PSDF) and it was generated from Monte Carlo simulation in their study
of vehicle–bridge interaction. Huang and Wang [41] also considered road surface roughness. On the other hand, Dinh et al.
[62] considered surface irregularity of the track.
Sniady and his co-workers have studied various moving-load problems with random parameters, for example, the source
of excitation was a series of random moving forces in Ref. [12]. On the other hand, the moving oscillator in Ref. [163] had
random mass, velocity and acceleration.

6. Numerical methods

Moving-load problems involve two structures and hence are understandably difficult to study. There are two issues to
be grappled with: (1) there are now multiple contact points or even a continuous contact patch between the moving
structure and the supporting structure; (2) both the moving structure and supporting structure can be complicated. These
present a challenging computational problem and need efficient algorithms. Various numerical methods have been put
forward. Some of these are briefly reviewed below. It must be stressed that the limited space in this tutorial does not allow
the sufficient details of the specific methods to be presented and the original papers must be consulted to have a good
understanding of the specific methods.
Olsson discussed some computational issues [164]. Messac’s approach [165] was to model both flexible structures with
finite elements. However, the mathematics is difficult to follow. Henchi et al. [166] used a modal expansion technique for
bridge components discretised with the finite elements and central difference scheme for time integration. Both modal
and physical coordinates were used. Yang et al. [16] cast a moving-oscillator problem in an integral equation that was
2056 H. Ouyang / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 25 (2011) 2039–2060

amenable to numerical solutions. Koh et al. [167] put forward a ‘moving element’ method specifically for moving-load
problems. A shortcoming is that the structure modelled by this type of elements must have the same cross-section along
the moving direction. De Faria and Oguamanam [117] used an adaptive finite element mesh to accommodate the travel of
the moving force/mass that traversed a spherical cap. It is observed that the tracking of the moving location and
subsequent dealing with the force equilibrium and displacement continuity at this location can easily be achieved by the
method reported in Ref. [130].
Ouyang et al. [90] put forward an analytical–numerical combined method and applied it to a small finite element model
for a disc brake without the disc (which was modelled as a Kirchhoff plate). There is a big advantage of using an analytical
formulation for a moving-load problem because when a load moves in the spatial domain its location always corresponds
to a degree-of-freedom (a continuous coordinate) in an analytical formulation. This allows easy enforcement of
displacement continuity and force equilibrium of the moving and stationary bodies at the moving coordinate. In contrast,
in a finite element formulation, the moving load is located in different element domains at different time, hence it is
difficult to track its location constantly and in particular relate its motion to that of the FE nodal displacement vector as it
traverses different element domains. Apparently, the numerical procedure for a moving-load problem using the finite
element method is more complicated and less accurate than using an analytical method, if the latter afford an analytical
expression of modes. This approach was then extended to proper models of real brakes [91,92] and a beam subjected to a
moving flexible body [168]. When neither of the two structures is amenable to analytical methods, the analytical modes
can be obtained by converting the finite element modes through element shape functions. This idea was implemented in
Ref. [130], in which a truss was excited by a moving oscillator, to accommodate both complicated structures while
retaining the advantage of the analytical approach in moving-load problems and versatility of the finite element method.
Many investigations of moving-load problems entail complicated mathematical equations. Symbolic computation can
derive approximate analytical solutions or reduce the equations to forms that are amenable to numerical computation.
Cartmell et al. [169] reviewed application of the method of multiple scales in solving dynamics of weakly nonlinear
mechanical systems, including those involving some moving-load problems.

7. Conclusions

This paper presents an easy-to-follow tutorial of some typical moving-load dynamic problems. Through a simple
example of a simply supported beam excited by a moving mass, the important concepts of the critical speed, single-mode
resonance and combination resonances, which are peculiar to moving-load problems, are explained. A popular
perturbation method, the method of multiple scales, is applied to demonstrate its application to the above problem
when a system parameter is small. A circular plate subjected to a relatively moving oscillator serves to provide another
useful example for understanding more complicated problems. Following the analytical approach, numerical simulation of
a rotating shaft subjected to a moving surface load is carried out.
To aid understanding and provide a short cut to acquisition of knowledge of moving load problems to new researchers,
various kinds of moving load problems are briefly reviewed with useful references for each kind of problems. Some
computational issues associated with moving-load problems and some numerical methods for dealing with these issues
are discussed, before concluding this tutorial.

Acknowledgments

The author wishes to acknowledge the Royal Academy of Engineering and Leverhulme Trust Senior Fellowship and
financial support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Grant reference number: EP/H022287/1).
The following former and current colleagues have contributed to the author’s research work on moving-load problems:
Professor John E Mottershead, Dr Danut Stancioiu and Dr Simon James of University of Liverpool, Professor Matthew P
Cartmell of University of Glasgow, Professor Michael I Friswell of University of Swansea, Professor Qingjie Cao of Harbin
Institute of Technology, Dr Wei Li of General Motors Company, Professor Minjie Wang of Dalian University of Technology,
Professor Luis Baeza of Polytechnic University of Valencia, Mr Huaxia Deng of University of Liverpool. Professor Chin An
Tan of Wayne State University provided several useful reference papers.

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