Design of a nonlinear torsional vibration absorber

  • Ammaar Bin Tahir

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Tuned mass dampers (TMD) utilizing linear spring mechanisms to mitigate destructive vibrations are commonly used in practice. A TMD is usually tuned for a specific resonant frequency or an operating frequency of a system. Recently, nonlinear vibration absorbers attracted attention of researchers due to some potential advantages they possess over the TMDs. The nonlinear vibration absorber, or the nonlinear energy sink (NES), has an advantage of being effective over a broad range of excitation frequencies, which makes it more suitable for systems with several resonant frequencies, or for a system with varying excitation frequency. Vibration dissipation mechanism in an NES is passive and ensures that there is no energy backflow to the primary system. In this study, an experimental setup of a rotational system has been designed for validation of the concept of nonlinear torsional vibration absorber with geometrically induced cubic stiffness nonlinearity. Dimensions of the primary system have been optimized so as to get the first natural frequency of the system to be fairly low. This was done in order to excite the dynamic system for torsional vibration response by the available motor. Experiments have been performed to obtain the modal parameters of the system. Based on the obtained modal parameters, the design optimization of the nonlinear torsional vibration absorber was carried out using an equivalent 2-DOF modal model. The optimality criterion was chosen to be maximization of energy dissipation in the nonlinear absorber attached to the equivalent 2-DOF system. The optimized design parameters of the nonlinear absorber were tested on the original 5-DOF system numerically. A comparison was made between the performance of linear and nonlinear absorbers using the numerical models. The comparison showed the superiority of the nonlinear absorber over its linear counterpart for the given set of primary system parameters as the vibration energy dissipation in the former is larger than that in the latter. A nonlinear absorber design has been proposed comprising of thin beams as elastic elements. The geometric configuration of the proposed design has been shown to provide cubic stiffness nonlinearity in torsion. The values of design variables, namely the strength of nonlinearity α and torsional stiffness kα, were obtained by optimizing dimensions and material properties of the beams for a maximum vibration energy dissipation in the nonlinear absorber. A parametric study has also been conducted to analyze the effect of the magnitude of excitation provided to the system on the performance of a nonlinear absorber. It has been shown that the nonlinear absorber turns out to be more effective in terms of energy dissipation as compared to a linear absorber with an increase in the excitation level applied to the system.
Date of AwardJun 2013
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorOleg Shiryayev (Supervisor)


  • Applied sciences, Nonlinear systems , Vibration, Mechanical engineering, Materials science, 0794:Materials science, 0548:Mechanical engineering

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