Research and development of an air-puff excitation system for lightweight structures

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
8th IOMAC - International Operational Modal Analysis Conference, Proceedings, 2019, pp. 627 - 634
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2019 International Group of Operational Modal Analysis. Lightweight, thin-walled structures appear in numerous engineering and natural structures. Due to their sensitivity, vibration excitation by, now traditional, contacting techniques, such as modally-tuned impact hammers or electrodynamic shakers, to investigate their dynamics is challenging since it typically adds substantial mass and/or stiffness at the excitation location. The research presented in this article, therefore, is intended to yield a system for the non-contact excitation of thin-walled structures through small, controlled blasts of air. An air-puff system, consisting of two fast-acting solenoid-controlled valves, a small air outlet nozzle and bespoke control software with a programmable valve control sequence, is researched and developed. The excitation impulse characteristics are investigated experimentally and described in detail for varying input control parameters. Ultimately, suitability of the system for the excitation of thin-walled structures is explored, for both a 3D-printed micro-satellite panel and a natural bee honeycomb, with promising results when compared to that of an impact hammer.
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