Analytical and Spectro-Spatial Analyses of Nonlinear Metamaterials for Vibration Control, Energy Harvesting, and Acoustic Non-Reciprocity

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Virginia Tech


This dissertation investigates the nonlinear wave propagation phenomena in nonlinear metamaterials with nonlinear chains and nonlinear resonators using analytical and spectro-spatial analyses. In the first part of the thesis, the nonlinear metamaterials are modeled as a chain of masses with multiple local resonators attached to each cell. The nonlinearity stems from the chain's stiffness in one case and the local resonator's stiffness in another. Analytical approximates solutions are obtained for each case using perturbation techniques. These results are validated through numerical simulations and the results show good agreement. To further demonstrate the nonlinear wave propagation characteristics, spectro-spatial analyses are conducted on the numerical integration data sets. The wave profiles, short-term Fourier transform spectrograms, and contour plots of 2D Fourier transform show the presence of solitary waves for both sources of nonlinearity. In addition, spectro-spatial features demonstrate the presence of significant frequency shifts at different wavelength limits. indent The second part of the thesis studies a nonlinear electromechanical metamaterial and examines how the electromechanical coupling in the local resonator affects the wave propagation. Numerical examples indicate that the system can be used for simultaneous energy harvesting and vibration attenuation without any degradation in the size of bandgaps. Spectro-spatial analyses conducted on the electromechanical metamaterial also reveal the presence of solitons and frequency shifts. The presence of solitary wave in the electromechanical metamaterial suggests a significant improvement in energy harvesting and sensing techniques. The obtained significant frequency shift is employed to design an electromechanical diode, allowing voltage to be sensed and harvested only in one direction. Design guidelines and the role of different key parameters are presented to help designers to select the type of nonlinearity and the system parameters to improve the performance of acoustic diodes. indent The last part of this thesis studies the passive self-tuning of a metastructure via a beam-sliding mass concept. The governing equations of motions of the holding structure, resonator, and sliding mass are presented and discretized into a system of ODEs using Galerkin's projection. Given that the spatial parameters of the system continuously change over time (i.e., mode shapes and frequencies), instantaneous exact mode shapes and frequencies are determined for all possible slider positions. The numerical integration is conducted by continuously updating the spatial state of the system. The obtained exact mode shapes demonstrate that the resonance frequency of the resonator stretches over a wide frequency band. This observation indicates that the resonator can attenuates vibrations at a wide frequency range. Experiments are also conducted to demonstrate the passive self-tunability of the metastructure and the findings colloborate the analytical results.



Nonlinear Metamaterials, Spectro-Spatial Analyses, Self-Tuning Mechanisms, Energy Harvesting