Previously published work on applied impact damping typically relates to SDOF models or simple MDOF models such as the classical cantilever beam. Structural models often require an extremely large number of DOF with mode shapes that are generally very complex. Dynamics simulation of these typically becomes both complicated and time consuming as well. The non-linear behavior of impact dampers further complicates such simulation in that standard linear solutions are not possible.
The primary objective in this research extends previous work by applying impact dampers to MDOF structures that are modeled with general 3-D ‘beam’ finite elements. Modal based models of the MDOF systems and efficient impact damper tracking algorithms were also developed which significantly reduced CPU time for simulation.
Significant among the objectives was obtaining an impact damper design for the MDOF casing structure of the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), High Pressure Oxygen Turbo-Pump (HPOTP), subject to pump rotor shaft unbalance. Impact damper performance is based on suppression of vibration at casing critical frequencies for rotor speed ranges, at rotor full speed, and very high unbalance to simulate a defect such as loosing an impeller blade fragment or a cracked bearing. Simulations show significant reductions in vibration at the casing critical frequencies and very high unbalance levels while little or no improvement was observed off resonance.
Additionally, the previous work with an experimental rotor bearing system (RBS) and impact damper was modeled using the developed modal based methods. Simulation of the resulting model response shows remarkable agreement with the experimental.
Finally, both the RBS and the HPOTP were modeled and simulated as unstable systems with attached impact dampers. The simulations predict that the impact damper is an excellent stabilizing mechanism for a range of instability driver values.
Simulation of the models in this research with the developed modal based algorithms were accomplished with excellent efficiency, and accurate results.