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Book Review: Case Histories in Vibration Analysis and Metal Fatigue For the Practicing Engineer

The author set out to help engineers understand the underlying principles to vibration problems they encounter in a production environment. He clearly meets the expectations of his demanding readers. Dr. Sofronas shares solutions to difficult vibration problems; he does so by using techniques that we can understand and words that we can relate to. His text delves into a multitude of actual case histories. The important subject of metal fatigue is in the book because excessive vibration often results in fatigue failures. Identifying fatigue-related failures can help readers identify the source of the vibration.

The book eases readers into the topic by starting out with chapters on the basics of vibration, vibration measuring methods, and vibration limits. Simple actual case histories are then presented in the form of analytical examples. The text progresses to chapters that deal with different vibration causes and solutions, chapters on fluid flow piping and machinery torsional vibration, turbomachinery vibration, very low cycle vibration and other important case histories. In all, there are over 75 case histories in this 280-page text---a book quite obviously packed with potent and relevant material. The different subjects are easy to find in the Table of Contents and also in a crisp index. The book is profusely illustrated with numerous drawings, sketches, and photographs.

In all, this most recent Sofronas text is readable, practical and valuable throughout. While “when it’s all said and done, more is said than done” has been observed in many industry meetings and at technical conferences, that’s not the case here. If you read 10 pages a week, you will have read the book in roughly 7 months. Consider doing just that and you’ll be much better equipped to add value to an enterprise. You will have increased your knowledge base and your sense of self-worth. Perhaps it may even be said of you “when it’s all said and done, more is done than said.“ Who knows---this book may have served as the guide or catalyst which caused the saying to get turned around.

Reviewed by Heinz P. Bloch

Heinz P. Bloch

Heinz P. Bloch (heinzpbloch@gmail.com) is a practicing consulting engineer with over 50 years of advising process plants worldwide on failure analysis, reliability improvement and maintenance cost avoidance topics. He has authored or co-authored 18 textbooks on machinery reliability improvement and over 500 papers or articles dealing with related subjects. His two most recent books, "Pump Wisdom" and "Compressors: How to achieve high reliability and availability" were published in 2011 and 2102.

John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ (ISBN 978-1-118-16946-9)

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