A drive adapter is basically what its name states: an adapter that connects the shaker to the slip plate. The drive adapter provides a transition from the shaker’s armature pattern to the slip plate. The typical drive adapter provided by Data Physics is either a welded construct or cast part. Both configurations are manufactured from magnesium so that they are as light as possible; rigid as possible; and damped as much as possible. All three of these characteristics, weight, rigidity, and damping are critical when conducting vibration testing.
Data Physics drive adapters attach to the shaker’s entire armature pattern so that the maximum amount of the shaker’s force is transmitted to the slip plate. By design, the force of the LE shaker is transmitted from the coil of the armature and that is located on the outer bolt circle. This is why it is so important that the outer bolt circle is included in the attachment of a drive adapter, as well as head expanders, fixtures, etc.
The objective of the drive adapter is to transmit the force of the shaker to the slip plate. The slip plate holds the test article in position so that it may be vibrated. If the connection from the shaker to the slip plate is inadequate, this will cause transmissibility issues. Transmissibility issues are a nightmare because the shaker has to work harder than normal to vibrate the test article. Transmissibility issues can also be very difficult to control. Therefore, to reduce the chances of having a transmissibility issue, due to an inadequate connection between the slip plate and the shaker, drive adapters are utilized.