Investigation of a bistable dual-stage vibration isolator under harmonic excitation

Kai Yang, R. L. Harne, K. W. Wang, Hai Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


This study explores the steady-state performance of a dual-stage vibration isolator, which is configured by a bistable oscillator and a linear oscillator. The potential force of the bistable stage comprises negative linear and positive cubic nonlinear stiffnesses such that the two restoring force contributions may counterbalance to minimize dynamic force transmission. By applying a first-order harmonic balance, it is predicted that the bistable dual-stage isolator may significantly outperform an equivalent pure linear dual-stage isolator. This conclusion is verified through a series of numerical investigations. Following a parametric study, design guidelines are detailed to achieve performance improvements. Then, the 'valley' response, which is the special phenomenon of the bistable dual-stage isolator due to the counterbalance of the negative linear and positive nonlinear potential forces, is revealed and quantitatively explained. Numerical studies demonstrate the role of initial conditions, and it is shown that the likelihood of beneficial single periodic valley and intra-well responses for isolation purposes can be increased by greater bistable stage damping. Finally, a bistable dual-stage isolator prototype is developed and tested, and the numerical and experimental results verify the theoretical predictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number045033
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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