Torsional vibration predictions and measurements of a marine propulsion system, which has both damping and a highly flexible coupling, are presented in this paper. Using the conventional approach to stress prediction in the shafting system, the numerical predictions and the experimental torsional vibration stress curves in some parts of the shafting system are found to be quite different. The free torsional vibration characteristics and forced torsional vibration response of the system are analyzed in detail to investigate this phenomenon. It is found that the second to fourth natural modes of the shafting system have significant local deformation. This results in large torsional resonant responses in different sections of the system corresponding to different engine speeds. The results show that when there is significant local deformation in the shafting system for different modes, then multi-point measurements should be made, rather than the conventional method of using a single measurement at the free end of the shaft, to obtain the full torsional vibration characteristics of the shafting system.

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