The dynamic behavior of elastic joints strongly affect the dynamic performance of a jointed mechanical system. The dynamic contacts introduced by joint clearances create a system with nonlinear characteristics. Special effort needs to be made to study jointed mechanical systems. This paper presents an integrated joint dynamics system, which can be used to predict the dynamic characteristics of a newly designed structure, or to analyze an existing jointed structure. This joint dynamics system can also be applied as a real time monitoring and diagnosis system when it is connected with a vibration measuring device. The joint dynamics system includes: 1) a theoretical model of jointed structures, in which the joint clearance and joint friction effects are considered; 2) a stochastic simulator which is used to generate vibration data and evaluate system dynamic characteristics; 3) a diagnostic monitoring algorithm for vibration state detection; and 4) a forecasting vibration control scheme. The joint dynamics system is applied to the dynamic analysis of a truss-cell unit structure. The results presented in this paper show that the joint dynamics system is effective.

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