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Six Degrees of Freedom

( 11/21/2018 ) Written by: Greg Chludzinski
No, we’re not talking about Kevin Bacon, or the popular parlor game which attempts to connect two people in six or fewer acquaintances.
The Six Degrees of Freedom model refers to movement of a rigid item in three-dimensional space. Specifically, this item is free to move forward/backward, up/down, and left/right combined with rotation around three perpendicular axes (often termed pitch, yaw, and roll).  
All engines (no matter the size) move within these six directions. The mounts attaching an engine to the vehicle isolate vibration generated by the engine and prevent it from transmitting to any occupants or to vehicle parts that would be fatigued by the loads.
Anticipating movement in these six directions is crucial to ensuring a secure engine mounting, especially on vehicles susceptible to extreme movements and loads….like UTVs.
Utility Task Vehicles, or UTVs, are similar to recreational All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), but are available with a wider range of components and customization. UTVs often have passenger seating and are outfitted with a large rear cargo hold. They may also have an enclosed cab, rollover protection, or other special features. Like ATVs, UTVs are expected to travel off-road, traversing rocky terrain or fallen logs and following along or crossing deep ditches. But, because they are designed to accommodate cargo or extra passengers, they typically carry more weight than ATVs. They can travel at speeds of 60 mph or more. These heavy demands mean that a UTV engine is subjected to repeated shock and vibration and careful engineering is required to extend the vehicle’s service life.
In addition to isolating vibration, engine mounts support engine weight, counteract torque loads and accommodate engine motion during travel over rough terrain. They isolate shock forces generated from ground and operational inputs, protecting not only the vehicle’s frame, but sensitive parts such as the drive shaft and fans. Mounts also increase occupant comfort by isolating structure-born noise; they can even increase the comfort of people working on a jobsite in proximity to the vehicle.
With multiple directions of engine movement possible, how can an equipment manufacturer be sure specified engine mounts won’t fail? The solution is to work with a trusted engineering partner early in a vehicle’s design phase.
Doing this with LORD Corporation is easy:
  • Provide our engineering team with information on engine dimensions, engine weight, number of cylinders, etc. If an engine design is particularly unique, schematic drawings of that engine can be provided to the LORD team.
  • The engineering team will perform a dynamic analysis, using LORD’s proprietary software, to assess loading, vibration and isolation requirements. Simulations are run for various loading situations—for example, the shock load that occurs when the vehicle takes a sharp turn. Using a range of inputs (amount of force, time the force is applied, etc.), reliable outputs are calculated.
  • The LORD team will help you select a standardized part that meets your needs. If standardized mounts are not an option, engineers will work with you to custom-design a solution.


Greg Chludzinski

Greg is a Senior Engineer working in the Industrial Equipment Engineering Team in Erie, PA. He is an alumni of Penn State Behrend and has been with LORD Corporation for 7 years.

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