Development of a test system for viscoelastic material characterization

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2014
Erol, Fulya
Viscoelastic materials are used extensively as a means of vibration control and isolation in many vibrating structures. For example, damping instruments utilizing viscoelastic materials such as surface damping treatments and vibration isolators fabricated of viscoelastic materials such as machinery mounts are widely used in automotive and aerospace industries for the purpose of vibration and noise control and isolation, respectively. Viscoelastic materials, as the name implies, behave in between a purely elastic material and a purely viscous material. In other words, they possess both energy storage and energy dissipation characteristics. In order to design an effective damping instrument or vibration isolator utilizing viscoelastic materials, the dynamic properties of viscoelastic materials are to be available in advance. However, these materials have a rather complex dynamic behavior such that their energy storage and dissipation characteristics are dependent on the frequency and temperature at which they are working. There are commercially available test systems dedicated to the determination of dynamic properties of viscoelastic materials; however the companies serving in the aforementioned industries do not tend to purchase them due to their high prices. Therefore, it is economically more feasible for these companies to have their own test system designed. This thesis work is aimed at development of a test system for viscoelastic material characterization to be installed in one of these companies. For this purpose, a test set-up is designed mechanically considering the requirements, specifications and constraints regarding the general vibration tests and specifically the previous work and experience on dynamic testing of viscoelastic materials. Then, a dedicated software program with a user friendly interface is developed for collecting, processing, saving and monitoring the test data and at the end supplying the user with the material properties of the viscoelastic material on which the tests have been conducted.