Vibrations are dynamic loads presenting a serious risk of damage through material overstressing that can be detrimental to the service life of plant installations and structures. In extreme cases vibration can lead to the complete breakdown or destruction of the facility. Slender structures and components with low natural frequencies and weak self-damping characteristics are particularly susceptible in this respect.
A particularly critical case arises when the excitation frequency coincides with the natural frequency of the object. Resonance effects can then build up vibrations in the swinging body, leading to its destruction.
Long-term operational vibrations can also lead to material fatigue, causing the formation of cracks and breakage even at low amplitudes.
Natural disasters such as heavy storms or earthquakes are external influences that can significantly exceed the supposed probability of damage and thus the permissible loads. In general, the chance of damage depends on the frequencies, amplitudes and load duration in each case.