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11/27/13

Conversion Between Displacement, Velocity and Acceleration | CBMApps.com

Conversion Between Displacement, Velocity


and Acceleration
Vibration is a form of movement; in consequence, the relations between acceleration, velocity and
displacement are governed by simple kinematics; acceleration is the derivative of velocity, which in turn is
the derivative of displacement:

Conversely, displacement is the integral of velocity, which in turn is the integral of acceleration:

For an arbitrary vibration signal, the only way to convert one of these measures into another would be to
know the complete time waveform and differentiate or integrate it. Fortunately, the integral and derivative
of a sinusoidal function are also sinusoidal functions, so for sinusoidal waveforms these relations simplify to
(the intermediary math has been omitted):
From displacement to velocity and acceleration:

From acceleration to velocity and displacement:

With frequency in Hz and phase in radians.


It is important to observe that if one of the three variables acceleration, velocity or displacement is
sinusoidal, the other two are also sinusoidal at the same frequency; only amplitude and phase change.

Phase Relations
Phase (30) relations are fairly intuitive and independent of amplitude and frequency. The phase difference
between acceleration and displacement is always 180, which means that when the object reaches its
maximum displacement from the equilibrium position, the acceleration is maximum in the opposite direction
(see points 1 and 2 in the figure below). Velocity always lags acceleration by 90 and leads displacement by
90: it is maximum when both acceleration and displacement are zero, that is, when passing trough the
equilibrium position (points 3 and 4).

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11/27/13

Conversion Between Displacement, Velocity and Acceleration | CBMApps.com

Phase difference between acceleration, velocity and displacement

Amplitude Relations
The amplitude (31) of acceleration, velocity and displacement are related by factors that depend on vibration
frequency. For a given velocity amplitude, for example, the corresponding displacement amplitude is higher
at low frequencies by a factor proportional to 1/f and acceleration is higher at high frequencies, by a factor
proportional to f. This relations explain why low frequency vibration is emphasized by displacement
measures and high frequency vibration by acceleration, as illustrated in the following figure:

Sinusoidal acceleration and displacement amplitude as a function of frequency for a fixed velocity amplitude of
1 mm/s rms

Units in this figure were chosen because they are commonly used and to make the curves fit in the plot. If
different units are used, the scale of the curves will vary but their general form remains the same.

Conversion Formulas
The conversion formulas for amplitude only are summarized in the following table:
You have

You want
A, f[Hz]
Acceleration, A =

Velocity, V =

www.cbmapps.com/docs/28

1/(2f) A

V, f[Hz]

X, f[Hz]

2f V

(2f)2 X

6.28f V

39.5f2 X

2f X

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11/27/13

Conversion Between Displacement, Velocity and Acceleration | CBMApps.com


1/(6.28f) A
Displacement, X =

6.28f X

1/(2f)2 A

1/(2f) V
1/(6.28f) V

1/(39.5f2) A

Amplitude conversion between sinusoidal acceleration, velocity and


displacement.

To take into account the phase, the formulas are (using the notation aplitude@phase):
You have

You want
A, f[Hz]
Acceleration,
A@a =
Velocity,
V@v =
Displacement,
X@x =

V, f[Hz]

X, f[Hz]

2f V@(v+90)

(2f)2 X@(x+180)

6.28f V@(v+90)

39.5f2 X@(x+180)

1/(2f) A@(a 90)

1/(6.28f) A@(a 90)


1/(2f)2 A@(a 180)

1/(2f) V@(v90)

1/(39.5f2) A@(a 180)

1/(6.28f) V@(v90)

2f X@(x+90)
6.28f X@(x+90)

Amplitude and phase conversion between sinusoidal acceleration, velocity and displacement.

Units
The formulas presented do not modify the type of amplitude measurement (pk, pk-pk or rms) (31) . They
do not transform the units used, either. When applying these formulas, care has to be taken to convert
the result to the desired units.

Example
If we want to convert a sinusoidal acceleration of 0.1g rms into velocity in in/s pk, and we don't care
about the phase, we can proceed as follows:
A = 0.1g = 0.1 x 32.17ft/s 2 = 3.217ft/s 2 38.6in/s 2
f = 4500 cpm = (4500/min)x(1min/60s) = 75/s
V = A/(2f) (38.6m/s 2) / (6.28 x 75/s) = 0.082in/s
As the acceleration amplitude was rms, so is the obtained velocity. We use the formulas in the
Amplitude (http://www.cbmapps.com/docs/31) section to get:
V 0.11in/s pk
As you seem, calculations can be tricky... These are the formulas used by the sinusoidal vibration calculator
(http://www.cbmapps.com/appshelp/8) to convert between sinusoidal displacement, velocity and acceleration.

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