A Finite Element, Reduced Order, Frequency Dependent Model of Viscoelastic Damping

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Virginia Tech

This thesis concerns itself with a finite element model of nonproportional viscoelastic damping and its subsequent reduction. The Golla-Hughes-McTavish viscoelastic finite element has been shown to be an effective tool in modeling viscoelastic damping. Unlike previous models, it incorporates physical data into the model in the form of a curve fit of the complex modulus. This curve fit is expressed by minioscillators. The frequency dependence of the complex modulus is accounted for by the addition of internal, or dissipation, coordinates. The dissipation coordinates make the viscoelastic model several times larger than the original. The trade off for more accurate modeling of viscoelasticity is increased model size.

Internally balanced model order reduction reduces the order of a state space model by considering the controllability/observability of each state. By definition, a model is internally balanced if its controllability and observability grammians are equal and diagonal. The grammians serve as a ranking of the controllability/observability of the states. The system can then be partitioned into most and least controllable/observable states; the latter can be statically reduced out of the system. The resulting model is smaller, but the transformed coordinates bear little resemblance to the original coordinates. A transformation matrix exists that transforms the reduced model back into original coordinates, and it is a subset of the transformation matrix leading to the balanced model. This whole procedure will be referred to as Yae's method within this thesis.

By combining GHM and Yae's method, a finite element code results that models nonproportional viscoelastic damping of a clamped-free, homogeneous, Euler-Bernoulli beam, and is of a size comparable to the original elastic finite element model. The modal data before reduction compares well with published GHM results, and the modal data from the reduced model compares well with both. The error between the impulse response before and after reduction is negligible. The limitation of the code is that it cannot model sandwich beam behavior because it is based on Euler-Bernoulli beam theory; it can, however, model a purely viscoelastic beam. The same method, though, can be applied to more sophisticated beam models. Inaccurate results occur when modes with frequencies beyond the range covered by the curve fit appear in the model, or when poor data are used. For good data, and within the range modeled by the curve fit, the code gives accurate modal data and good impulse response predictions.

Viscoelasticity, Finite Elements, Model Order Reduction, Vibrations