# Chapter 4: Summary and Conclusions

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2 analyzed in the equilibrium and dynamic states, and transmissibility versus frequency plots are generated, as in previous models. The analytical process is essentially the same for all the models presented. Each model is analyzed in the static and dynamic states by drawing free body diagrams of an element of the strut (and the bar when required), and developing a set of differential equations from these diagrams. Equations are developed for the response of the struts under steady-state vibrations, and the fixed-end boundary conditions are utilized. A program is then written in Mathematica using initial guesses for the variables to be solved and utilizing a shooting method to find a solution to the system of differential equations. The equilibrium program determines the moments and shear forces in the struts due to the static load. These values are used as input in the dynamic program, which solves for the system s transmissibility over a wide range of frequencies. Another similarity in the analysis for all models is the nondimensionalization used. The variables are nondimensionalized so that the results can be valid for any elastic material regardless of its modulus of elasticity, E, and for any cross-sectional shape regardless of its moment of inertia about the axis of bending, I. In this way, results are not limited to specific materials or cross-sectional shapes. Results of the analysis for the models are presented as transmissibility versus frequency plots, vibration shapes for different frequencies, rotation of the bar versus frequency plots, and various plots showing how different parameters affect the model in the static equilibrium state. 4.2 Conclusions By examining the results of each model described, several conclusions can be drawn. First, it is apparent that the behavior of the ideal case of the first model presents the best situation for utilizing post-buckled struts as vibration isolators. It produces a single peak in the transmissibility at a low frequency, and therefore provides the widest range of 87

4 A filler stiffness would have to be chosen based on the requirements of both the static and dynamic behavior of the system. It was also found that the performance is best when the struts are loaded slightly above their buckling load. Therefore, using pre-bent struts does not provide much freedom to adjust the static load to values below the buckling load. Both buckled and pre-bent struts would be best applied as vibration isolators for machinery or other supported equipment where the mass is known with a considerable degree of accuracy. The amount of initial deflection given to the struts before they are loaded also has an impact on the transmissibility. The trend as to how it impacts the performance, however, is difficult to determine from the cases studied. Of the three different shapes analyzed, the smallest amount of deflection clearly yields the most undesirable results. However, the case with the most deflection produces just slightly higher peak frequencies than the intermediate case, and the range of low transmissibility between the first two peaks is the same. There seems to be an optimum amount of initial deflection that would provide the best results, and too much or too little could adversely affect the performance. The last parameter studied was the amount of damping provided by the filler material. As expected, the greater the value of damping, the lower the values of transmissibility. Damping does not change the values of the peak frequencies like the other parameters, which is also to be expected. The model used to study the effect of damping is a dimensional example. The dimensional example uses actual material properties (steel), dimensions, and weights of reasonable values that could be expected in a real, physical system. The transmissibility versus frequency results are very similar to those of the first case presented. Therefore, this example brought physical relevance to the other models studied in this thesis. 89

5 4.3 Future Research The research presented here is all based on theoretical models and mathematical analysis. A very important aspect of research, experimental work using physical models, would be a great asset to complement this analytical work. Results from a physical model would be very beneficial in the understanding of buckled pairs of struts as vibration isolators, and would also aid in verifying the analytical results of this research. No torsional or lateral movement of the models was allowed in the mathematical analysis presented here, but it most certainly would occur in a real model. Even if many steps were taken to avoid this, a small amount of twisting or lateral movement may affect the results. For torsional movement, it may be useful to study buckled plates as vibration isolators. Or, a more realistic model than the two-strut model might be a horizontal, rectangular, rigid plate supported at its four corners by buckled struts, for which a threedimensional analysis would be required. This configuration may also be more useful if torsional components of movement were induced. Also, studying the effects of applying different types of excitation other than simple harmonic motion could be helpful. Such excitations could include random frequency input, multi-frequency input, and shock and impact loadings. There are many variations of the models studied that would be helpful in understanding the behavior of buckled struts as vibration isolators. Because the isolator is such a simple design and could be constructed of any common elastic material such as aluminum or steel, continued research can easily be justified. 90

6 An entertaining quote is shared below: In the behaviour of this spring-supported mass there is something almost human; it hates to be rushed. If coaxed gently, and not un-naturally hurried, it comes with perfect docility in the direction in which it is being urged; but, if asked to bestir itself at more than its customary gait, it displays a mulish perversity of disposition. Such motion as it can be prevailed upon to make is in a retrograde direction, and the more it is rushed the less it condescends to move. But, if it is stimulated by a force having its own inherent natural frequency, it shows its delight by bouncing up and down with an exuberance of spirit which may be very embarrassing. - Charles Edward Inglis, 1944 The purpose of a vibration isolator is to reduce the transmission of the vibration from the source to the receiver, and to avoid the embarrassment described by Inglis above. The main objective of this research is to determine if the models proposed, utilizing pairs of buckled and pre-bent struts, could serve this purpose. Although further research on this subject is required, the results presented here show that the buckled and pre-bent struts are certainly viable candidates as vibration isolators. 91

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