Applying constrained layer damping to reduce vibration and noise from a steel-concrete composite bridge: An experimental and numerical investigation

Quanmin Liu, Xiaozhen Li, Xun Zhang, Yunlai Zhou, Y. Frank Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Structure-borne noise from railway bridges has become increasingly severe due to increased train speeds and axle loads. Constrained layer damping can suppress structural vibration and noise considerably across a wide frequency range by dissipating vibrational energy via damping layer shear deformation. This paper proposes a theoretical method of calculating the train-induced vibration and noise of a constrained layer damping-enhanced railway bridge based on the train–track–bridge coupled vibration, the modal strain energy method, and statistical energy analysis. First, the vibration responses of bridge decks were obtained via train–track–bridge coupled vibration calculations. Second, the constrained layer damping subsystem modal loss factors were determined via modal strain energy analysis and converted to damping loss factors in 1/3 octave band. Third, upon substituting the vibration energies of the decks and the damping loss factors of constrained layer damping subsystems into the statistical energy analysis power balance equations, the transmitted vibration energy results from various bridge subsystems were determined by solving the referenced equations. The structure-borne noise from the bridge was finally determined by analyzing the vibratory energies of all of the bridge subsystems using vibro-acoustic theory. Numerical analysis and field measurements of vibration and noise from a three-span steel–concrete composite bridge before and after constrained layer damping installation were performed. The predicted train-induced vibration and noise agreed well with the measured results. The stringer web and flange vibration velocity levels were reduced by 10.5 dB and 6.1 dB, respectively, and the sound pressure level at a measurement point 25 m (horizontal) from the track centerline and 1.5 m off the ground decreased by 4.3 dB(A).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1743-1769
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Sandwich Structures and Materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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