Introduction to Impact Hammers

PCB's Modally Tuned® impact hammers are easy-to-use solutions for delivering impulse forces into test specimens and providing electrical measurement signals of the amplitude and frequency content of the applied force. Response accelerometers then measure the resultant motion of the test specimen for such requirements as resonance detection, modal analysis, transfer characteristics, and structural health determination.

Modally Tuned® impact hammers have been proven over thousands of requirements in such applications as automotive design, bridge health assessment, and aerospace vehicle development. Their design has been refined, through the selection of their materials of construction, to deliver consistent, accurate results. This "modal tuning" of the hammer structure eliminates hammer resonances from corrupting the test data resulting in more accurate test results.

Available hammer kits include response accelerometers, signal conditioners, and all the accessories needed to begin testing with FFT analyzers or data acquisition workstations. The variety of hammer kits are comprised of matched components which are tuned for testing structures within certain size and weight categorizations.

A selection of tips are included with each hammer which, along with an extender mass, allow the hammer to be tailored to deliver the desired frequency content of the impulse force waveform the structure under test.

PCB's Modally Tuned® impact hammer kit received the IR-100 award as recognition by Industrial Research & Development magazine as one of the most significant technical products of 1983. Since then, hammer kits have continually been improved upon where today, all kits include state-of-the-art, shear-mode ICP® accelerometers which deliver unmatched performance and value.

Hammer Selection

Hammer model selection involves determining the size and mass of the hammer, which will provide the force amplitude and frequency content required for proper excitation of the structure under test. Each hammer's corresponding frequency response plots indicate the frequency content of the force impulse that can be achieved using the variety of supplied tips. An extender mass, supplied with most hammers, allows further tuning by concentrating more energy at lower frequencies.

The following lists standard hammer models and offers guidelines as to which types of structures each hammer may be appropriate for testing. For further detailed product specifications, enter the hammer model of interest into the search box at the top of this page or Click Here to see a summary of all available hammers and hammer kit offerings.