Computational and experimental studies of microvascular void features for passive-adaptation of structural panel dynamic properties

Nicholas C. Sears, Ryan L. Harne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The performance, integrity, and safety of built-up structural systems are critical to their effective employment in diverse engineering applications. In conflict with these goals, harmonic or random excitations of structural panels may promote large amplitude oscillations that are particularly harmful when excitation energies are concentrated around natural frequencies. This contributes to fatigue concerns, performance degradation, and failure. While studies have considered active or passive damping treatments that adapt material characteristics and configurations for structural control, it remains to be understood how vibration properties of structural panels may be tailored via internal material transitions. Motivated to fill this knowledge gap, this research explores an idea of adapting the static and dynamic material distribution of panels through embedded microvascular channels and strategically placed voids that permit the internal movement of fluids within the panels for structural dynamic control. Finite element model and experimental investigations probe how redistributing material in the form of microscale voids influences the global vibration modes and natural frequencies of structural panels. Through parameter studies, the relationships among void shape, number, size, and location are quantified towards their contribution to the changing structural dynamics. For the panel composition and boundary conditions considered in this report, the findings reveal that transferring material between strategically placed voids may result in eigenfrequency changes as great as 10.0, 5.0, and 7.4% for the first, second, and third modes, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sound and Vibration
StatePublished - Jan 6 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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