Open Access

Detecting Impulses in Mechanical Signals by Wavelets

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20042004:946162

Received: 21 February 2003

Published: 8 July 2004


The presence of periodical or nonperiodical impulses in vibration signals often indicates the occurrence of machine faults. This knowledge is applied to the fault diagnosis of such machines as engines, gearboxes, rolling element bearings, and so on. The development of an effective impulse detection technique is necessary and significant for evaluating the working condition of these machines, diagnosing their malfunctions, and keeping them running normally over prolong periods. With the aid of wavelet transforms, a wavelet-based envelope analysis method is proposed. In order to suppress any undesired information and highlight the features of interest, an improved soft threshold method has been designed so that the inspected signal is analyzed in a more exact way. Furthermore, an impulse detection technique is developed based on the aforementioned methods. The effectiveness of the proposed technique on the extraction of impulsive features of mechanical signals has been proved by both simulated and practical experiments.

Keywords and phrases

wavelet transformenvelope analysisfault diagnosisrolling element bearingsoft threshold

Authors’ Affiliations

Institute of Vibration Engineering, Northwestern Polytechnical University


© Yang and Ren 2004