Dynamics and performance of a harmonically excited vertical impact damper

Sanjiv Ramachandran, George Lesieutre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Particle impact dampers (PIDs) have been shown to be effective in vibration damping. However, our understanding of such dampers is still limited, based on the theoretical models existing today. Predicting the performance of the PID is an important problem, which needs to be investigated more thoroughly. This research seeks to understand the dynamics of a PID as well as those parameters which govern its behavior. The system investigated is a particle impact damper with a ceiling, under the influence of gravity. The base is harmonically excited in the vertical direction. A two-dimensional discrete map is obtained, wherein the variables at one impact uniquely dictate the variables at the next impact. This map is solved using a numerical continuation procedure. Periodic impact motions and "irregular" motions are observed. The effects of various parameters such as the gap clearance, coefficient of restitution, and the base acceleration are analyzed. The dependence of the effective damping loss factor on these parameters is also studied. The loss factor results indicate peak damping for certain combinations of parameters. These combinations of parameters correspond to a region in parameter space where two-impacts-per-cycle motions are observed over a wide range of nondimensional base accelerations. The value of the nondimensional acceleration at which the onset of two-impacts-per-cycle solutions occurs depends on the nondimensional gap clearance and the coefficient of restitution. The range of nondimensional gap clearances over which two-impacts-per-cycle solutions are observed increases as the coefficient of restitution increases. In the regime of two-impacts-per-cycle solutions, the value of nondimensional base acceleration corresponding to onset of these solutions initially decreases and then increases with increasing nondimensional gap clearance. As the two-impacts-per-cycle solutions are associated with high loss factors that are relatively insensitive to changing conditions, they are of great interest to the designer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021008
JournalJournal of Vibration and Acoustics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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