A novel vibration control method utilizing magnetically mounted piezoelectric elements is described. Piezoelectric elements are bonded to permanent magnets, termed here as control mounts, which are attached to the surface of a steel beam through their magnetic attraction. The magnetic-piezoelectric control mounts are an alternative to traditional epoxy attachment methods for piezoelectric elements which allows for easy in-the-field reconfiguration. In model and laboratory measurements, the beam is driven through base excitation and the resonant shunt technique is utilized to demonstrate the attenuation characteristics of two magnetic-piezoelectric control mounts. The coupled system is discretized using a Galerkin finite element model that incorporates the tangential and vertical contact stiffnesses of the beam-magnet interface. The vibration reduction provided by the control mounts using a single magnet are compared to those designed with a magnetic array that alternates the magnetic dipoles along the length of the mount. Even though each design uses the same magnet thickness, the alternating magnetic configuration's interfacial contact stiffness is over1.5 and 4 times larger in the tangential and vertical directions, respectively, than that of the single magnet, resulting in increased vibration reduction. Measured and simulated results show that the magnetic-piezoelectric control mounts reduced the beam's tip velocity by as much as 3.0 dB and 3.1 dB, respectively. The design tradeoffs that occur when replacing the traditional epoxy layer with a magnet are also presented along with some methods that could improve the vibration reduction performance of the control mounts. This analysis shows that the control mounts attenuate significant vibration despite having an imperfect bond with the beam, thus providing a viable and adaptable alternative to traditional piezoelectric attachment methods.
January 29, 2013