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Damping of Flexural Vibration by Low-Density Foams and Granular Materials

Article · January 2003


DOI: 10.1115/DETC2003/VIB-48534

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Proceedings of DETC’03
2003 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences
September 2-6, 2003, Chicago, Illinois USA

DETC2003/VIB-48534

DAMPING OF FLEXURAL VIBRATION BY LOW-DENSITY FOAMS AND GRANULAR


MATERIALS

Kripa K. Varanasi and Samir A. Nayfeh†


Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts

ABSTRACT given added mass. Based on extensive experimental results, Pa-


The damping of flexural vibration by introduction of a layer palou and Masri [1, 2] have developed an approximate method
of low-density foam or powder into a structure is investigated. to predict the damping attained by dampers filled with steel balls
First, we report on experiments in which a layer of foam at- of various sizes. Fowler et al. employed a particle-dynamics
tached to an aluminum beam gives rise to significant damping simulation to model the behavior of a particle damper [3]. In
at frequencies high enough to induce standing waves in the foam these studies involving relatively large, high-density particles,
layer. Next, we provide a simple model for such vibration in the damping mechanism is strongly nonlinear because it is the
which the foam is treated as a two-dimensional elastic contin- result of impacts and sliding among the particles. As reported by
uum in which waves can propagate and find that the model is in Fowler et al. [3], little damping is obtained at very low ampli-
good agreement with the experiments. Then the results of exper- tudes of vibration.
iments in which aluminum beams are filled with a low-density Cremer and Heckl [4] suggested that a granular material
powder are presented. The powder-filled beams exhibit behavior such as sand can be modeled as a continuum, and that damping in
qualitatively like that of the foam-filled beams, but we find that a structure filled with such a granular material can be increased
the powder can be adequately modeled as an inviscid compress- by adjusting dimensions so that standing waves can occur in the
ible fluid. granular material at the resonant frequencies of the structure. Sun
et al. [5] modeled sand as a fluid and used statistical energy anal-
ysis to predict the damping in structures coupled to sand.
1 Introduction
Richards and Lenzi [6] carried out several experiments on
The introduction of a granular material or foam into a struc-
sand-filled tubes and have studied the influence of the quantity
ture or machine is a relatively simple and low-cost approach to
of sand, grain size, cavity shape and size, and the direction and
attenuation of vibration. Traditionally, dense granular fills (such
amplitude of excitation. They report that damping attains a max-
as sand, lead shot, or steel balls) have been selected for such ap-
imum at frequencies where resonances can be set up in the gran-
plications in order to obtain strong coupling between the struc-
ular medium. Bourinet and Le Houedec [7] expanded on the
ture and the granular material. Several researchers in the past
ideas of Cremer and Heckl and developed a quantitative model
have studied the use of granular materials for vibration damp-
for the vibration of beams filled with granular materials. They
ing. Papalou and Masri [1, 2] and Fowler et al. [3] show that
model compressive waves in the granular material in the direc-
a container filled with granular material and coupled to a struc-
tion transverse to the vibration to develop an “apparent mass”,
ture can be designed to achieve relatively high damping for a
which they couple to a Timoshenko beam. However, these high-
density fills add a great deal of mass to a structure and hence are

rarely used where weight is a concern.
Graduate Research Assistant, kripa@mit.edu
† Assistant Professor, nayfeh@mit.edu 

1 Copyright c 2003 by ASME


Wave propagation and flow of granular materials has been nesses of the foam and their values were found to be, respec-
 

an active research area for many years [8]. Nearly 175 years ago, tively, 106 1 0 3 j kPa and 38 9 1 0 4 j kPa. Based on these
      

Faraday studied the interaction between a vibrating body and measurements, we calculate the complex wave speeds in dilata-
 

a granular material and found that heavy particles move to the tion and shear to be 32 3 1 0 15 j m/s and 19 7 1 0 20 j m/s,
       

nodes of vibration, but light particles move to the antinodes [9]. respectively.
Recent experiments by Fricke [10] and Nayfeh et.al. [11] indi- In all of the experiments, the beams are suspended by light
cate that such low-density particles can provide high damping of elastic strings to simulate free-free boundary conditions. An
structural vibration if the speed of sound in the fill is sufficiently electromagnetic shaker provides an excitation at one end of the
low. beam via a force transducer (PCB 208B [17]). The response is
In this paper, we study the flexural dynamics of beams cou- measured by an accelerometer (PCB 333A30 [17]) located at the
pled to media such as foam and granular material in which the same end of the beam as the shaker. A chirp excitation is gener-
speed of sound propagation is much lower than that in the beam. ated by a dynamic signal analyzer and supplied to the shaker via
Foam materials are commonly employed for sound absorption an amplifier.
and noise control (e.g., Kinsler et. al. [12]; Beranek and Ver [13]) In Figure 1, we plot the force-to-acceleration frequency re-
in aircraft and automobiles. They are also widely used as absorp- sponses obtained for the aluminum beam with and without the
tive liners in anechoic chambers, air conditioning systems, intake foam layer. As expected, the beam without foam exhibits very
and exhaust ducts of turbines, and large industrial fans among little damping, with ζ 0 002 for each of the first ten modes.
 

other applications. In Section 2.1, we report on experiments in When a layer of foam of thickness 12.7 mm is glued to the alu-
which coupling an aluminum beam to foam provides significant minum beam, the increase in damping in the first five modes is
damping over a broad band of frequencies for a relatively low in- very small, but there is a significant increase in the damping of
crease in mass. Next in Section 2.2, we develop a simple, linear the sixth and higher modes. Based on the speeds of sound com-
model in which an Euler-Bernoulli beam is coupled to a foam puted in the foregoing, we find that the sixth mode occurs in a
material in which dilatation and shear waves can propagate. Us- frequency range where quarter-wavelength dilatation and half-
ing a modal expansion, we obtain the accelerance of such a beam wavelength shear waves can be set up through the thickness of
under various boundary conditions. The results of the model are the foam. This suggests that the damping in the frequency range
found to be in close agreement with the responses measured in of 600 to 1600 Hz is the result of strong coupling between the
the experiments. beam and foam arising from the establishment of standing waves
In Section 3.1, we report on experiments in which aluminum through the thickness of the foam.
beams filled with low-density granular material exhibit signifi-
cant damping (as high as 6%) in the first two modes of the beam.
Next, in Section 3.2, we develop a simple, linear model similar 2.2 Model
to that of the foam, idealizing the granular material as a com- In this section, we develop a model by which the responses
pressible fluid. Using the model developed in Section 3.2 and measured in Section 2.1 can be predicted. We consider a beam
the properties of the powder (such as its speed of sound and loss of length L, flexural stiffness EI, and mass per unit length m.
factor) documented in the Appendix, we obtain the accelerance A layer of foam is coupled to the beam as shown in Figure 2.
of the beam under various boundary conditions. The results of The beam is excited by a point-harmonic force at a frequency ω
the model are found to be in close agreement with the measured and distance x f from one end of the beam. We employ a simple
responses. Euler-Bernoulli model for the beam and consider the foam to be
a lossy and isotropic continuum in which waves of dilatation and
distortion can propagate.
2 Damping using Foams The foam material used in the experiments described in Sec-
tion 2.1 is an elastic-porous medium. It is known that three types
2.1 Experiments of waves can propagate in such media: two types of dilatation
We report on experiments conducted on an aluminum beam waves and a shear wave (e.g., Biot [18]; Bolton et.al. [19]). One
(1447.8 38.1 12.7 mm) coupled to a 12.7 mm layer of EAR C- of the dilatation waves depends largely on the bulk elastic prop-
3201 (EAR Corporation [14]) energy-absorbing foam using 3M erties of the material of the foam and the other on the acoustical
Contact 80 neoprene adhesive (3M Corporation [15]). The den- properties of the fluid in the pores, the porosity, and the flow re-
sity of the foam is 104.1 kg/m3 , and its stiffness and loss factor sistivity. Hence the former and latter are respectively referred to
are available from the manufacturer’s data sheets [14], but the as frame and airborne waves. The stress induced on the beam
effective complex stiffness of the foam varies somewhat from lot by the fluidic component of the foam scales as the product of the
to lot and with frequency. In [16], a set of experiments were bulk modulus of the air in the pores times the volumetric strain
carried out to measure the complex extensional and shear stiff- in air. Hence although this type of wave can have a significant


2 Copyright c 2003 by ASME


80

Response Magnitude (dB) 60

40

20

−20

−40
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800
Frequency (Hz)

Figure 1. Measured force-to-acceleration frequency responses under chirp excitation: without foam (dotted) and with foam (solid)

     
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    
                    
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
                  
σy x 0

                              
                    



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 




    τx0
                    
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
    
                    
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
    
                    
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
   
  
M V V dV M dM
    y                                                                         
                   
 
  

  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


  


 

  
 
  
                     
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

                   
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
   
 
dx
                                                     L
                   
   
     
                   
  
 
 
  
  
  
 x

   
  
 
  
  
  
 
  
  
  
 
  
  
  
 
  
  
  
 
  
  
  
 
  
  
  
 
  
  
  
 
  
  
  
 
  
  
  
 
  
  
  
 
  
  
 
 
  
 
  
     
   

  

 
 

 

 
 

          z    
 
 
 
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
 h 
 
  
 
  
 
   hf Figure 3.
dx
Free-body diagram of an infinitesimal beam element of length

Figure 2. Schematic of the beam-foam system

a linear and isotropic continuum (e.g., Timoshenko and Good-


ier [20]):
influence on sound transmission, we can safely neglect its effect
on the vibration of the beam. Therefore, we treat the foam as an
isotropic continuum with a complex Young’s modulus of elas- λ λ ρω2u
ticity E f Ê f 1 jη sgn ω , loss factor η, and Poisson ratio ν
 

2G uxx Guyy G vxy 0 (1)


ρω v
      

λ λ 2
 

Gvxx 2G vyy G uxy 0 (2)


 

in which waves of dilatation and distortion arising from the bulk


      

properties of the material can propagate (e.g., Timoshenko and

where the subscripts denote partial differentiation and ρ, λ


Goodier [20]).

νE f  1 ν 1
2ν , and G are respectively, the density, com-
 

  

2.2.1 Equations of Motion Consider steady vibration plex Lame constant, and complex shear modulus of the mate-
of the beam-foam system of Figure 2 under harmonic excitation rial of the foam. To obtain the equation governing the vibratory
at a frequency ω by a point force Re Fδ x
x f e jωt . We de-
 

  motion of the beam, we consider an infinitesimal element of the


note the vibratory deflection of the beam under such an excita- beam of length dx shown in Figure 3. At the interface of the beam
tion by Re(V x ω e jωt ) and the deformations of the foam in the and foam (at y 0), the normal stress σy x 0 ω contributes to
 

x and y directions by Re(u x y ω e jωt ) and Re(v x y ω e jωt ), re- a force in y direction whereas the shear stress τxy x 0 ω results
 

  

spectively. The deformations u x y ω and v x y ω in the foam


  

 

  in a moment about the neutral axis. Making use of the above in-
are governed by the following second-order wave equations of teraction between the foam and beam, we write the equation for


3 Copyright c 2003 by ASME


the deflection V of the beam in the form beam:

d 4V bh ∂τxy x 0 ω


αn x


bσy x 0 ω
Fδ x
x f

  

EI 4 mω V 2 




sin kn x pn cos kn x (9)



   

∂x
 

dx 2 βn x


sinh kn x


pn cosh kn x


(10)
(3)    

where b and h are, respectively, the width and height of the beam.
where kn is the wave number of the nth mode of the beam and pn
2.2.2 Boundary Conditions for the Foam At the is a constant given by
interface between the foam and beam (at y 0), we require that
sin kn L
sinh kn L
pn
the deformations in the foam match those of the surface of the  

cosh kn L
cos kn L
(11)
 

beam. Hence we obtain 




v x 0 ω



V x ω


 (4) Next, we assume compatible deformations in the foam of the


u x 0 ω



h2 ∂V (5)
form
∂x


∞ 

At the free surface of the foam (at y h f ), the normal and shear v x y ω χn y ω α n ξn y ω βn x 
    

  x     (12)
 n 1
stresses must vanish. Hence we have ∞ 
u x y ω


∑ φn y ω αn x  kn
 

ψn y ω βn x  kn  (13)
 


     


λux x h f ω λ 2G vy x h f ω
  

n 1
0 (6)

    

uy x h f ω v x x h f ω
 

0 (7)
where the primes denote the first derivative and χ, ξ, φ, and ψ are
  

yet to be determined functions of y and ω. Substituting the above


Likewise, at the free surfaces in the x direction (at x 0 and
x L) the normal and shear stresses must vanish. Because the
expansions for u and v into the wave equations (1) and (2), we
obtain the system of first-order ordinary differential equations
foam layers used in the experiments are long and slender, and
strong damping is observed at frequencies at or above the fre-
Xn An Xn (14)
quencies at which the lengths of waves in the foam are on the
order of the thickness of the foam, we do not impose boundary
conditions on the ends of the foam (at x 0 and L). This simpli- where the vector Xn is of the form
fication allows us to reasonably approximate the behavior of the
foam over most of the length of the beam and to obtain relatively
simple predictions of the effect of the foam on the vibration of Xn  φn φn ψn ψn χn χn ξn ξn

T
(15)
the system.
and the matrix An is given in Table 1. Next, we solve (14) subject
2.2.3 Approximate Solution Because closed-form to the boundary conditions (4)–(7) to obtain
solutions for (1)–(3) along with the boundary conditions (4)–(7)
are generally difficult to obtain, we seek approximate solutions
Xn Bn eΛn y cnVn (16)
to the coupled beam-foam problem. To this end, we expand the
deflection of the beam in terms of the eigenfunctions of an un-
damped beam as where Bn and Λn are, respectively, the matrices of eigenvectors
and eigenvalues obtained by diagonalizing An , and cn is a con-

V x ω



∑ Vn ω





αn x


  βn x


  (8)
stant vector whose elements are determined by enforcing the
boundary conditions (4)–(7). Thus, having obtained the func-
tions χn , ξn , φn , and ψn , we compute the stresses σy x 0 and
 n 1 

τxy x 0 at the interface of the foam and the beam and substitute


where αn x and βn x are, respectively, the propagating and


 

  them into (3) to solve for Vn . In order to do so, we multiply (3)


by αn x βn x and integrate the resulting expression between
 

evanescent components of the eigenfunction. As an example, we   

find that αn x and βn x take the following form for a free-free


 

  0 and L to obtain a system of linear equations in Vn . The order




4 Copyright c 2003 by ASME


Table 1. Form of the coefficient matrix An in (14)

 


0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

ρω2 kn2 λ 2G λ G





G

 

0 0 0 0 

G kn


0 0

0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0


An


ρω2 kn2 λ 2G λ G
0 0 0 0 0 0 G kn


  

 

G



0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

λ G ρω2 kn2 G 

0 k
λ 2G n



0 0 0 

λ 2G 
0 0


0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

λ G ρω2 kn2 G
0 0 0 

k
λ 2G n



0 0 

λ 2G



Because the speed of sound and loss factor of the powder are
not precisely known, we detail in the Appendix a set of exper-
0.063 in iments to measure these properties. From these measurements,
0.125 in 0.8 in we find that the speed of sound does not vary very much with
the frequency and is approximately 58 m/s. Likewise, we find


that the loss factor also does not exhibit a strong dependence on
2 in

1.125 in
frequency and is approximately 0.20.
(a) (b) In all of the experiments, the beam is suspended by soft
elastic strings to simulate free-free boundary conditions. An
Figure 5. Cross section of aluminum beams: (a) box beam with an over impulsive excitation is provided by an impact hammer (PCB
all length of 28.25 inches, and (b) U-Channel beam with an overall length 333A30 [17]) at one end of the beam, and the response is mea-
of 23.25 inches sured by an accelerometer (PCB 333A30 [17]) located at the
same end the beam.
The first set of flexural measurements were conducted on an
of this linear system is equal to the number of terms in the ex- aluminum box beam of length 717.55 mm and cross section as
pansion (8). Next, after computing the values of Vn , we write the sketched in Figure 6(a). The box beam is filled completely with
non-dimensional accelerance R at x x f as 3M Microbubbles and, due to the compressibility of the granu-
lar material, the beam is readily filled to an extent that no free

R ∑
mω2V L mω2Vn L surface remains between the granular fill and the interior of the
αn x f βn x f
  

    (17) beam wall. The total mass of the particle fill is 16 per cent of that
F 
n 0 F
of the beam.
Finally, we plot in Figure 4 the force-to-acceleration frequency In Figure 6, we plot the force-to-acceleration frequency re-
response and compare it with the measured response. We find sponse for the completely filled box beam along with that of
that there is good agreement between the measured and predicted the empty (unfilled) beam. As expected, the unfilled beam ex-
frequency responses. hibits very little damping, with ζ 0 002 for each of the first  

two modes. When the particles are added, we see a significant


increase in damping in these modes. The effect on the first mode
3 Damping using Low-Density Granular Media of the beam is more pronounced: A new mode has appeared,
leading to behavior much like that of a tuned-mass damper. The
3.1 Experiments critical damping ratios for the first three modes of the filled beam
In this section, we report on experiments conducted on the are found to be 0.04, 0.05, and 0.01, respectively.
two aluminum beams whose cross sections are shown in Fig- A second set of experiments were conducted on a U-channel
ure 5. The beams are filled with 3M Glass K1 Microbubbles (3M beam of length 590.55 mm with the cross section shown in Fig-
Corporation [21]). The average diameter of a particle is 65 mi- ure 5(b). In Figure 7, we compare the frequency response ob-
crons, and we measure the density of the powder to be 60 kg/m 3 . tained for the unfilled beam to that obtained for the beam filled


5 Copyright c 2003 by ASME


80

Response Magnitude (dB) 60

40

20

−20

−40
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900
Frequency (Hz)

Figure 4. Comparison of measured and predicted force-to-acceleration frequency responses: measured without foam (dotted), predicted without foam
(dash-dot), measured with foam (dashed), and predicted with foam (solid)

90 100

80
80
70

60
60
Magnitude (dB)

Magnitude (dB)

50

40 40

30
20
20

10 0
0

−10 −20
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400
Frequency (Hz) Frequency (Hz)

Figure 6. Measured force-to-acceleration frequency responses of the Figure 7. Measured force-to-acceleration frequency responses of the U-
rectangular box beam under hammer excitation: unfilled (dotted), filled channel beam under hammer excitation: unfilled (dotted), filled (solid)
(solid)

with a layer of powder 17 mm thick. The mass of granular fill consider a beam of length L, flexural stiffness EI, and mass per
is 9.6 per cent of that of the beam. As in the measurements on unit length m. A layer of granular material of thickness h and
the box beam, we find that the filled U-channel beam exhibits width b is coupled to the beam as shown in Figure 8. The beam
significant damping in each of its first two modes. In this case, is excited by a point-harmonic force at a frequency ω and dis-
the tuned-mass damper effect appears close to the second reso- tance x f from one end of the beam. We employ a simple Euler-
nance of the beam. The critical damping ratios for the first three Bernoulli model for the beam and consider the granular fill to be
modes of the filled beam are found to be 0.005, 0.05, and 0.06, a compressible inviscid fluid in which two-dimensional pressure
respectively. waves can propagate. While the mechanism of dissipation within
the granular material is not completely understood, we character-
ize it by a complex speed of sound c defined by
3.2 Model
In this section, we develop a model to predict the dynamics
of the powder-filled beams described in the previous section. We c c0 1  jηω  ω  (18)


6 Copyright c 2003 by ASME


3.2.2 Approximate Solution To obtain the force-to-
acceleration frequency response for the powder-filled beams, we
must simultaneously solve the wave equation (19) and the beam-
deflection equation (21) subject to the boundary conditions given
in (20). As in the case of foam (Section 2.2.3), we seek approx-
imate solutions to the coupled beam-powder problem. To this
end, we expand the deflection of the beam in terms of the eigen-
functions of an undamped beam as
x

$L$
V x ω



∑ Vn ω





αn x


 
βn x


 
(22)
 n 1
y

h
where αn x and βn x are respectively, the propagating and
 

z  

evanescent components of the eigenfunction. Next, we assume a


b compatible pressure distribution in the form

∞ ∞
Figure 8. Diagram showing the parameters used in the model: The
p x y ω


∑ φn y ω α n
 

x ∑ ψn y ω β n
 

x (23)
beam has length L and is partially filled with granular material over a
     

 n 1 
n 1
width b and to a height h.

Substituting the above expression for p into the wave equation


where η is the loss factor of the granular material. (19) and using the boundary conditions in (20), we obtain the
following expressions for φn and ψn
3.2.1 Equations of Motion and Boundary Condi-
eλn1 y
eλn1 2h
tions Consider steady vibration of the powder-filled beam of
Figure 8 under harmonic excitation at a frequency ω by a point φn y ω


ρω2Vn 
 y 

(24)
force Re Fδ x
x f e jωt . We denote the vibratory deflection of λn1 1 e2λn1h


 

the beam under such an excitation by Re(V x ω e jωt ) and the


 

eλn2 y
eλn2 2h


pressure in the granular material by Re(p x y ω e jωt ). The pres-





ψn y ω


ρω2Vn 
 y 

(25)
λn2
sure p x y ω in the granular material is governed by the follow-
1 e2λn2h


ing two-dimensional wave equation


where λ2n1 ω2  c2
kn2 and λ2n2 ω2  c2 kn2 , and kn is the
∂2 p ∂2 p ω2


p 0 (19) wave number of the nth mode of the undamped beam. Next,
∂x2 ∂y2 c2 we use the above expressions for φn and ψn to compute the pres-
 

sure p x 0 ω at the beam-powder interface and substitute it into




At the free surface (at y h), the pressure must vanish. At the


(21) to solve for Vn . In order to do so, we multiply (21) by


interface with the beam (at y 0), the pressure gradient ∂p  ∂y is αn x βn x and integrate the resulting expression between 0
 

  

proportional to the acceleration of the beam. Hence we have the and L to obtain a system of linear equations in Vn . The order of
boundary conditions this linear system is equal to the number of terms in the expan-
sion (22). After determining the values of the Vn , we compute
∂p the non-dimensional accelerance R at x x f according to
p x h ω x 0 ω ρω2V x ω
  

0 and (20)
∂y
  


R ∑
mω2V L mω2Vn L
where ρ is the density of the powder. As in the case of foam αn x f βn x f
 

   
(26)
(Section 2.2.1), we consider the force and moment balance on an F  F n 0
infinitesimal element of the beam to obtain the following equa-
tion governing the vibratory motion of the beam: Finally, we compare the predicted and the measured force-
to-acceleration frequency responses for the U-channel beam. As
EI
d 4V

mω2V
bp x 0 ω


Fδ x
x f


(21)
shown in Figure 9, the second resonance in the unfilled beam
dx4
 

occurs at a significantly lower frequency than predicted by the

Copyright c 2003 by ASME




7
"!"! "!"! "!"! "!"!
120
    
accelerometer
"! "! #$ "! #$ "! #$ #$
acrylic tube

100
           "!"!  "!"! $#$#  "!"! $#$#  "!"! $#$#  $#$#             
plunger powder

            $#  $#  $#  $#             (' (' 
%&% %&%       $#  $#  $#  $#          + ,+  ,+  ,+ ,+ ('(' ,+ ('('
80

&&                   +)  +*),  +*),  +*), +, (' +, ('

Magnitude (dB)

60

                  )+  *),+  *),+  *),+ ,+ ,+  
)+)*),+) *),+) *),+) ,+ ,+ 
40

++*,++ *,++ *,++ ,++ ,++


20

+,,+ ,,+ ,,+ ,,+ ,,+


0 plunger
x
−20
force transducer
−40
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400
Figure 10. Schematic of the experiment employed to determine the
Frequency (Hz)
properties of powder
Figure 9. Comparison of measured and predicted force-to-acceleration
frequency responses of the U-channel beam under hammer excitation:
measured unfilled (dashed), predicted unfilled (dash-dot), measured filled
5 Appendix
(solid), predicted filled (dotted)
In this section, we document a set of experiments in which
we determine the speed of sound and loss factor of the gran-
ular medium employed in this paper. The experimental set up
Euler-Bernoulli beam model. This discrepancy arises from shear consists of a powder-filled acrylic tube whose cross section is
shown schematically in Figure 10. At one end of the tube (at
x 0) a plunger is used to impose a displacement on the powder.
deformation, which becomes important even in low-order modes
for such thin-walled beams but is not taken into account in the
The plunger is driven using an electromagnetic shaker via an ac-
celerometer. At the other end of the tube (at x L), a plunger
beam model. Despite the simplicity of the beam model, we find
that the predicted damping is roughly in accordance with the
measurement, lending some confidence to our approach to the is held against a rigid support by means of a force transducer to
modeling of the behavior of the powder. simulate a fixed end. Next, by imposing a sinusoidal displace-
ment at the free end and varying its frequency, we obtain transfer
functions between the acceleration at the free end and the force at
the fixed end. Because of the free-fixed boundary conditions, we
4 Conclusions expect resonances to occur in the acceleration-to-force transfer
The experimental results described in this paper show that function at frequencies where the length of the tube is an integer
high damping can be attained with little added mass by coupling multiple of half the wave length in the powder.
a structure to a medium with a moderate loss factor, low density, In Figure 11, we plot the measured acceleration-to-force
and low speed of sound. In all of these experiments, when the fre- transfer function for a tube whose length and diameter are
quencies of vibration are close to those at which standing waves 254 mm and 22.8 mm, respectively. We find that the primary res-
can be induced in the low density medium, the coupling to the vi- onance occurs at 114 Hz and the resonance frequencies occur in
brating structure becomes strong, resulting in significant damp- the ratio of 1:2.02:3.02:4.03, which is close to that expected from
ing. Such damping treatments (whether the low-density medium theory. Based on the values of these resonance frequencies, we
is powder, foam, or some other material) offer a low cost method compute the speed of sound in the powder to be approximately
of attaining broad-band damping in structures and machines. 58 m/s. Next, we obtain the loss factor for the various modes
We have developed simple models by which the damping in in this transfer function using standard modal curve-fitting soft-
a beam coupled to a low-density, low-wave-speed continuum can ware such as Star Modal (Spectral Dynamics [22]). We find that
be predicted. Approximate solutions are developed by expanding the loss factor is independent of frequency and has a value of
the displacement of the beam in terms of its mode shapes, solv- approximately 0.20.
ing for compatible vibration in the foam or powder, and thence
computing the response of the combined system. The results are
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