An experimental method for measuring material damping is described, which employs a free-free beam lightly supported at the nodes. A thermal space environment is simulated by measuring the material damping in air at temperatures ranging from −65°F to 225°F, and then subtracting out the effects of atmospheric damping. This method saves considerable time, cost and experimental difficulties associated with performing the experiments in a vacuum. Graphite/epoxy AS4/3501-6 composite beam specimens were tested. At room temperature, the [0°]12 composites were found to have an average damping ratio of 0.0556 percent. The [90°]12 composites were found to have an average material damping ratio of 0.55 percent. These data agree well with the theoretical models and experimental measurements performed in a vacuum. The material damping ratio is temperature dependent over the range −65°F to 225°F, increasing with increasing temperature. For the [0°]12 composite, the material damping ratio varies from 0.0397 percent at −65°F to 0.083 percent at 225°F. For the [90°]12 composite, the material damping ratio varies from 0.408 percent at −65°F to 0.860 percent at 225°F.
The Effect of Temperature on the Material Damping of Graphite/Epoxy Composites in a Simulated Space Environment
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Spirnak, G. T., and Vinson, J. R. (July 1, 1990). "The Effect of Temperature on the Material Damping of Graphite/Epoxy Composites in a Simulated Space Environment." ASME. J. Eng. Mater. Technol. July 1990; 112(3): 277–279. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2903323
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