An actively-tuned solid state piezoelectric vibration absorber

Christopher L. Davis, George A. Lesieutre

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A tunable solid state piezoelectric vibration absorber and an active tuning method were developed and demonstrated. A passive vibration absorber generally acts to minimize structural vibration at a specific frequency associated with either a tonal disturbance or the response of a lightly damped structural vibration mode. Because this frequency is rarely stationary in real applications, damping is usually added to ensure some level of effectiveness over a range of frequencies. Maximum response reductions, however, are achieved only if the absorber is lightly damped and accurately tuned to the frequency of concern. Thus, an actively-tuned vibration absorber should perform better than a passive one and, furthermore, could be made lighter. In its simplest form, a vibration absorber consists of a spring-mass combination. A key feature of the tunable vibration absorber described herein is the use of piezoelectric ceramic elements as part of the device stiffness. The effective stiffnesses of these elements was adjusted electrically, using a passive capacitive shunt circuit, to tune the resonance frequency of the device. The tuning range of the absorber is thus bounded by its short-circuit and open-circuit resonance frequencies. An alternative tuning approach might employ resistive shunting, but this would introduce undesirable damping. Another feature of the device is the ability to use the piezoelectric elements as sensors. A control scheme was developed to estimate the desired tuning frequency from the sensor signals, to determine the appropriate shunt capacitance, and then to provide it. The shunt circuit itself was implemented in ten discrete steps over the tuning range, using a relay-driven parallel capacitor ladder circuit. Experimental results showed a maximum 20 dB, and a 10 dB average improvement in vibration reduction across the tuning range, as compared to a pure passive absorber tuned to the center frequency, with additional benefit extending beyond the tuning range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-182
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998
EventSmart Structures and Materials 2002: Damping and Isolation - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 18 2002Mar 20 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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