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Smart way to suppress unwanted vibration of lightweight structural systems

If someone asks you: Can you reduce the vibration of the system without adding anything from outside? Isn’t it a tricky question?

While you are wondering for a while, the specification may be slightly relaxed, okay, you are allowed to add something externally with a condition that it should not affect original characteristics of the system. One feels little comfortable and the brain immediately starts thinking, is it possible?

Vibration control of flexible structures subjected to dynamic inputs is one of such tricky situations.

Antenna Structures, Satellite Structures, Components of Space Stations etc are subjected to Thermal, Vacuum and Wind variation and the same are expected to perform precise operations. As said structures are airborne they are essentially flexible, slender and very light in mass, thus, prone to vibrations as a whole or at component level. Such unwanted vibrations (disturbance) may hamper the working operation of the said structures and needs to be controlled.

Institution, like Space Application Centre (SAC), ISRO, face such situations day-in and day-out and therefore, collaborative project entitled “Development of Passive Damping Surface Coating for Advanced Materials based Structural Systems using PZT (Piezo) Powder” was designed under ISRO RESPOND Programme by a team of Dr Sharadkumar P Purohit, Dr Paresh V Patel from Civil Engineering Department, Nirma University and with Dr B S Munjal, Scientist-G at SAC-ISRO and his associates. The major objective of the research work is to develop a surface coating using Piezoceramic Powder (PZT) to reduce the vibration of flexible structural system.

Dr Sharad Purohit, Principal Investigator says, “Vibrations are back and forth unwanted motion of a flexible system which results into a damage or instability of the system. Unwanted vibrations are required to be controlled through a smart way as characteristics of original system should be retained.

An innovative piezoelectric powder (PZT) based surface coating is developed for the system made from Aluminium, E-board and PEEK (with plasma based treatment) to control it’s vibrations. As developed coating do not add mass to the original system it is indeed a smart way to supress unwanted vibration in the lightweight structural system.”

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