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Modal analysis

Modal analysis looks for the natural frequencies of a structure and helps engineers understand how a design will respond to different dynamic loads.

What is modal analysis?

Modal analysis is the study of the dynamic properties of linear structures, based on structural testing or finite element analysis-based simulation. These dynamic properties include resonance frequencies (also called “natural frequencies” or “eigenfrequencies”) and structural modes (or “eigenmodes”). Dynamic properties depend on the structure's mass, stiffness and damping distribution, and determine structural vibration behavior when exposed to operational loads. Every deformation of a linear structural system can be expressed as a linear combination of the structural modes, which form an orthonormal vector base.

Modal testing combines data acquisition with further analysis. In an industrial application, the complete process is often called modal testing and analysis or experimental modal analysis (EMA).

Results of modal testing and analysis are used in various simulation and testing applications, including vibration response calculations, root cause analysis of vibration problems and damage detection. These results also add flexibility to multibody analysis and speeding up durability and vibro-acoustic simulations. Modal-based calculations are very effective and allow efficient evaluation of structural changes to responses of any kind.

Related products: Simcenter Testlab | Simcenter 3D | Simcenter Nastran

The engineering team performing a modal analysis on a car structure.

Uncover the benefits

Increase performance

Modal analysis gives an overview of the object's natural frequencies, damping parameters, and structural mode shapes to improve overall product performance.

Time reduction

Modal analysis simulation helps you get results faster and earlier in product development.

Cost reduction

Modal analysis can help you reduce prototypes and the time spent on physical testing, thus reducing costs.

Types of modal analysis

An engineer running an experimental modal analysis on a structure connected to a laptop.

Experimental modal analysis

Combine modal testing and analysis tools to validate your 3D simulation models, perform vibration response calculations or complete a root cause and damage detection analysis.

Propeller used for operational modal analysis.

Operational modal analysis

Efficiently test objects or structures in any situation. Obtaining actual damping parameters is critical to assess a structure’s fatigue life. Our solutions let you derive modal parameters from operating conditions and test structures that are too large or heavy for laboratory setups.

Visual of modal parameter identification.

Modal parameter identification

One of the main objectives of modal analysis is to identify natural frequencies, modal damping and mode shapes of structures or objects obtained from measured data.

Try modal analysis software for free

Simcenter Testlab Neo software user interface (UI).

Simcenter Testlab Neo trial

  • Easily view your collected data
  • Perform intuitive data processing using a pre-defined process
  • Compare the results in seconds and get valuable insights

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