Non-contact eddy current excitation method for vibration testing

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When a conductive material is subjected to a time changing magnetic field, eddy currents are induced in that structure. The eddy currents circulate inside the conductor resulting in a magnetic field that interacts with the applied field. The eddy current field is such that it opposes the change in flux resulting in a force between the source and conductor. The time changing magnetic field necessary to induce an electrometric force in the materials can be generated through a variety of different ways. In the present study, a permanent magnet will be mounted to the tip of an electromagnetic shaker such that the motion of the magnet relative to the structure will cause a time changing field and the formation of eddy currents. The actuator will be demonstrated to be beneficial due to its ability to apply actuation forces without contacting the structure. This study will show that the non-contact nature of the system eliminates mass loading and added stiffness which are downfalls of traditional excitation techniques. Additionally, it will be shown that the use of a non-contact device preserves the mode shapes of the structure, whereas a stinger results in distortions due to the added constraint. Using this concept, a model of the actuation system will be developed, allowing the beams response to be simulated. The actuation system will then be used to excite a cantilever beam to obtain the modal parameters without contacting the structure. The novel non-contact actuation system developed in this paper provides a new method performing vibration testing of on lightweight or flexible structures while preserving their dynamics. © Society for Experimental Mechanics 2006.

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Experimental Mechanics