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Stepper Motor Settling Time (Ringing) and Resonance

When the stepper motor receives the final pulse signal, (either one or from a continuous train), it will stop rotating. However, complete rest will not occur until all the oscillations have stopped. The time it takes from the application of the last pulse received until the stepper motor comes to a complete rest is known as settling time. (See graph below). Resonance occurs when the stepper motor suddenly makes large oscillations, or the output torque suddenly drops at one certain pulse rate or numerous small regions of pulse rates. The stepper motor will stop (stall), may miss steps or reverse direction from the commanded direction. This phenomenon occurs when the natural frequency of the stepper motor coincides with the frequency of the input pulse rate. This generally occurs around 100 – 200 pulses per second in a full-step operation, and also at higher pulse rates. Microstepping half-step operation, or electrical or mechanical damping, can reduce resonance issues. Microstepping has a large effect on settling time and resonance due to the smaller angular displacement taken per pulse. See Figure below.

Resonance Characteristics
Since a hybrid stepper motor system is a discreet increment positioning system, it is subject to the effect of resonance. Where the system is operated at this given frequency, it may begin oscillating. The primary resonance frequency occurs at about one revolution per second. Oscillating will cause a loss of effective torque and may result in a loss of synchronism. Settling time and resonance can be best dealt with by dampening the stepper motor’s oscillations through mechanical means. Mechanically, a friction or viscous damper may be mounted on the stepper motor to smooth out the desired motion.

Methods for Changing or Reducing Resonance Points:
• Use of Gearboxes or Pulley Ratios
• Utilize Microstep Drive Techniques
• Change System Inertia
• Accelerate Through Resonance Speed Ranges
• Correct Coupling Compliance

General Stepper Motor Driver Safety Considerations

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