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Passive, Non-fluid Damping Materials for Micromachined Vibration Isolators
Keywords: Vibration Isolation, Damping, Micromachined
High frequency vibrations are present in a number of harsh environments. Examples of these environments include aircraft and industrial machinery. High frequency vibrations can degrade the performance of many electronic components, including resonators and MEMS gyroscopes and result in issues ranging from reduced sensitivity to component failure. In recent years, significant work has been done to properly isolate electronic components from the surrounding environment. Silicon micromachined vibration isolators have been demonstrated to attenuate high frequency vibration and maintain near unity transmissibility throughout the passband. However, one shortcoming of these devices is low damping. While stopband attenuation is often excellent, high transmissibility near the resonant frequency introduces undesirable and unnecessary stress on isolator springs. Ideally, filter damping should be high enough that vibration amplitudes around the resonant frequency are limited, but low enough that adequate attenuation of the stopband is maintained. Typical methods utilized to increase damping in micromachined vibration isolators include fluid damping techniques and electrostatic active feedback control. This work presents an alternative damping solution. A number of passive, non-fluid materials may provide appropriate damping to the isolator system. Passive, non-fluid damping materials may prove easier to integrate into isolator packaging than fluid alternatives and do not require the fabrication complexity of an active damping solution. One such example, microfibrous copper (Cu) metallic cloth, has been utilized to attenuate noise in MEMS gyroscopes. This work compares the transmissibility response of a 7 x 7 mm2 micromachined isolator fabricated from a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer when damped by a wide range of materials including microfibrous Cu metallic cloth, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), and Sorbothane, a viscoelastic urethane. Isolator transmissibility is measured using laser vibrometry. The test isolator is clamped into a 3D-printed fixture with the damping material placed underneath. Transmissibility output is recorded via spectrum analyzer. Initial testing indicates that passive, non-fluid damping materials may provide a suitable alternative to previous damping techniques.
Brent Bottenfield, Graduate Research Assistant
Auburn University
Auburn, LEE

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