Vibration Damping of Lightweight Sandwich Structures
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Honeycomb-cored sandwich structures are widely used in transport for their high strength-to-mass ratio. Their inherent high stiffness and lightweight properties make them prone to high vibration cycles which can incur deleterious damage to transport vehicles. This PhD thesis investigates the performance of a novel passive damping treatment for honeycomb-cored sandwich structures, namely the Double Shear Lap-Joint (DSLJ) damper. It consists of a passive damping construct which constrains a viscoelastic polymer in shear, thus dissipating vibrational energy. A finite element model of such DSLJ damper inserted in the void of a hexagonal honeycomb cell is proposed and compared against a simplified analytical model. The damping efficiency of the DSLJ damper in sandwich beams and plates is benchmarked against that of the Constrained Layer Damper (CLD), a commonly used passive damping treatment. The DSLJ damper is capable of achieving a higher damping for a smaller additional mass in the host structure compared to the optimised CLD solutions found in the literature. The location and orientation of DSLJ inserts in honeycomb sandwich plates are then optimised with the objective of damping the first two modes using a simple parametric approach. This method is simple and quick but is not robust enough to account for mode veering occurring during the optimisation process. A more complex and computationally demanding evolutionary algorithm is subsequently adopted to identify optimal configurations of DSLJ in honeycomb sandwich plates. Some alterations to the original algorithm are successfully implemented for this optimisation problem in an effort to increase the convergence rate of the optimisation process. The optimised designs identified are manufactured and the modal tests carried out show an acceptable correlation in the trends identified by the numerical simulations, both in terms of damping per added mass and natural frequencies.
Interreg IV-A and ERDF (Material for Energy Efficiency in Transport)
PhD in Engineering