CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

Living Edition
| Editors: The International Academy for Production Engineering, Sami Chatti, Tullio Tolio


  • Michael F. ZaehEmail author
Living reference work entry



In the context of vibrating mechanical systems, damping is the irreversible transition of mechanical energy into other forms of energy, mainly thermal energy, caused by nonconservative forces acting on the system.

Theory and Application

Damping in Mechanical Systems

All real mechanical systems are damped. Therefore, when vibrating with a limited amount of mechanical energy, every system comes to rest sooner or later if no additional energy is supplied. This drain of mechanical energy is caused by damping forces that are opposed to the motion of the oscillation. Depending on the location of these forces relative to the boundaries of the system, internal and external damping forces can be distinguished (VDI-standard 3830 2004). Sources of internal damping forces can be material damping effects due to nonelastic material behavior, friction in joints, and between moving components or conversion of mechanical into electrical energy by means of piezoelectric...

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Copyright information

© CIRP 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut fuer Werkzeugmaschinen und Betriebswissenschaften, TU MuenchenMunichGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Hans-Christian Möhring
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für WerkzeugmaschinenUniversität StuttgartStuttgartGermany