Passive Viscoelastic Constrained Layer Damping Application for a Small Aircraft Landing Gear System

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Virginia Tech


The main purpose of this report was to test several common viscoelastic polymers and identify key attributes of their applicability to a small aircraft landing gear system for improved damping performance. The applied viscoelastic damping treatment to the gear was of a constrained layer type, promoting increased shear deformation over free surface treatments, and therefore enhanced energy dissipation within the viscoelastic layer. A total of eight materials were tested and analyzed using cyclic loading equipment to establish approximate storage modulus and loss factor data at varying loading frequencies. The three viscoelastic polymers having the highest loss factor to shear modulus ratio were chosen and tested using a cantilever beam system. A Ross, Kerwin, and Ungar analysis was used to predict the loss factor of the cantilever beam system with applied treatment and the predictions were compared to experimental data.

Customer requirements often govern the scope and intensity of design in many engineering applications. Limitations and constraints, such as cost, weight, serviceability, landing gear geometry, environmental factors, and manufacturability in regards to the addition of a viscoelastic damping treatment to a landing gear system are discussed.

Based on results found from theoretical and experimental testing, application of a damping treatment to a small aircraft landing gear system is very promising. Relatively high loss factors were seen in a cantilever beam for simple single layer constrained treatments for very low strain amplitudes relative to strains seen during loading of the landing gear. With future design iterations, damping levels several times those seen in this document will be seen with a constrained treatment applied to a landing gear system.



Aircraft, Landing Gear, Loss Factor, Viscoelastic, Damping