New damping technology based on mechanic impedance matching

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New damping technology based on mechanic impedance matching

Conventional vibration control technologies are still highly limited. Current damping systems fail to deal with low frequency ranges and extreme temperature scenarios.

In order to fill that gap MAG SOAR has developed a new technology able to enhance the performance of any vibration damping system by mechanical impedance coupling. Impedance is a term usually applied to electronics that represents the opposition or voltage that a circuit presents to a current; the equivalent to the resistance in direct current. Electrical engineers use transformers to multiply voltage and divide current or vice versa in order to adjust the circuit impedances and optimize the circuit power. The same concept can be defined for mechanical systems as Force to Speed ratio. However, up to now nobody has developed any effective analogue mechanical transformer to enhance the efficiency of a mechanical system.

Our ears: A perfect example of mechanical coupling

Surprisingly, nature offers a perfect example of mechanical impedance matching. Ears of most terrestrial animals are provided with mechanical impedance transformers. While the medium in the outer ear is obviously air, the medium in the inner ear is a liquid similar to water. Both of these elements present quite different mechanical impedances. Because of the difference in the impedances of the air and the liquid in the inner ear, an audition loss of about 30 dB should be expected. However, a set of small bones in the middle air (hammer, incus and stapes) compliantly attached, together with the different areas of the tympanic membrane and the oval window provides a mechanical advantage so that it compensates this audition loss. This mechanical impedance coupling is an example of mechanical transformer.

How does Z-Damper works?

Z-DAMPER follows the same working principle detailed on the paperZ-Damper: A New Paradigm for Attenuation of Vibrations”. This contactless magneto mechanism multiplies the input speed and reduces drastically the incoming force needed to achieve the necessary damping coefficient. Z-Damper technology can be used to control the vibration transfer in different mechanisms and to enhance other damping systems efficiency. It is also able to function at extreme temperature, higher and lower than any other damping system.

z-damper-diagram

 


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Z-Damper: A new technology for vibration control at extreme temperatures

Madrid-18/07/2016-MAG SOAR in collaboration with UAH develops a completely innovative system to face vibration problems by mechanical impedance matching

z-damper-magnetic-damper

 Vibration control of buildings, airplanes, cars and other kinds of systems and structures is an extremely important issue in constant evolution. Insufficient control of vibration propagation can cause the critical failure and ultimately, the total breakage of an structure. Devastated buildings after earthquakes are extreme examples of the consequences of out of control vibrations.

There are different forms to reduce, mitigate or suppress vibrations. The simplest way is to increase the elasticity of the ground connections between a moving machine and a stable surface. Multiple solutions have been developed with this purpose that go from elastic couplings to floating benches. All of them can provide a quite a good vibration isolation with an appropriate design. However, these are limited to normal temperature and relatively high frequencies. Moreover, these solutions usually involve a significative increment of weight.

MAG SOAR engineers have just designed a new vibration control technology able to handle extreme temperature conditions at low and high frequencies thanks to mechanical impedance coupling. Z-DAMPER is a zero-backlash magneto-mechanism that has been optimized for matching mechanical impedances in order to control vibration propagation in a structure. This is the first damping technology to reach temperatures as high as 250 ˚C and as low as -200 ˚C and able to cope with high dynamic forces. Besides, there is not contact between the movable members so it barely needs maintenance. All of this makes Z-Damper the perfect candidate for extreme temperature environments where lubrication and wear related problems can have catastrophic consequences.

Z-DAMPER can also be applied to enhance the efficiency of other damping systems, like tuned vibration absorbers, eddy-current dampers and particularly, those with a poor performance at low frequency vibrations. The working principle detailed in the recently published paper, Z-Damper: a new paradigm for attenuation of vibrations”


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Extreme environment test bench for dampers ready for operation

damping test bench

The bench is designed for testing dampers performance at extreme temperature between -200ºC and 300ºC and at a frequency range of 0 to 50 Hz.

Vibration isolation is a common denominator issue in areas such as aerospace, defence, automotive, industry or energy. Unfortunately for engine manufacturers, currently available dampers are incapable of handling temperatures higher than 100ºC.

MAG SOAR engineers are just about to overcome this technological barrier with the development of the new Z-DAMPER. This magneto-mechanical damper is about to become a new paradigm for attenuation of vibration; A prototype is being designed to work optimally at high temperatures at low and high frequencies. In short, a clear breakthrough in the present damping technologies.

Z-DAMPER is partially founded by the European Union programme Clean Sky, the most ambitious aeronautical research programme ever launched in Europe. Clean Sky main objective is to develop technologies destined to increase significantly the environmental performance of airplains and air transport.

In order to go a step further, an unique test bench facility has been created and is now operational and ready for testing damping performance at extreme temperature.

test-bench-testing