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Dynamic Modeling and Experimental Testing of a Piano Action Mechanism With a Flexible Hammer Shank

[+] Author Affiliations
Adel Izadbakhsh, John McPhee, Stephen Birkett

University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Paper No. DETC2007-35351, pp. 433-444; 12 pages
doi:10.1115/DETC2007-35351
From:
  • ASME 2007 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5: 6th International Conference on Multibody Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, and Control, Parts A, B, and C
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, September 4–7, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4806-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3806-4
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME

abstract

The piano action is the mechanism that transforms the finger force applied to a key into a motion of a hammer that strikes a piano string. This paper presents a state-of-the-art model of a grand piano action, which is based on the five main components of the action mechanism (key, whippen, jack, repetition lever, and hammer). Even though Askenfelt and Jansson [1] detected some flexibility for the hammer shank in their experiments, all previous piano models have assumed the hammers to be rigid bodies. In this paper, we have accounted for the hammer shank flexibility using a Rayleigh beam model. It turns out that the flexibility of the hammer shank does not significantly affect the rotation of the other parts of the piano mechanism, compared with the case that the hammer shank has been modeled as a rigid part. However, the flexibility of the hammer shank changes the impact velocity of the hammer head, and also causes a greater scuffing motion for the hammer head during the contact with the string. To validate the theoretical results, experimental measurements were taken by two strain gauges mounted on the hammer shank, and by optical encoders at three of the joints.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME

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