DOI: 10.3390/app13179594 ISSN:

A Hybrid Vibration Isolator Based on Elastomeric and Electromagnetic Restoring Force

Renato Brancati, Giandomenico Di Massa, Luigi Pio Di Noia, Stefano Pagano
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • General Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • General Materials Science

The protection of structures and machines from ground vibrations is a deeply felt and widely studied problem. These vibrations are typically generated by the operation of machines, vehicular traffic, seismic events, shocks, explosions, etc., and are generally characterized by frequencies that are not known a priori, making the use of passive isolation systems problematic. Just away from the source, ground vibrations have a predominantly horizontal component. To meet the conflicting requirements of passive isolation systems, which should have higher stiffness when the structure is at rest and lower stiffness when the ground forces it to vibrate, active or semi-active isolation systems can be adopted. In the following article, the possibility of adopting a hybrid isolator is evaluated; it consists of shear-stressed elastomeric pads coupled with an electromagnetic actuator; the latter consists of three coils, two of which are connected to the ground and the other one to the body to be isolated. This kind of isolator has the same flexibility and adaptability as the active ones, with the advantage of ensuring its functioning even in the absence of an external energy source. Its flexibility is due to the presence of a smart element that allows one to tune the characteristics of the isolator to consider the instantaneous isolation requirements. The proposed solution allows one to modify the isolation system’s characteristics in a sufficiently wide range of displacements equal to that defined by the maximum allowed deformation of the elastomeric pads. This paper reports the description of the isolation system and an analytical model to describe its restoring force; then, an experimental setup is adopted to identify the parameters of the analytic model; finally, several simulations are reported to compare the analytical and the experimental trends of the restoring force and to characterize the isolator.

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