The boring bar is used to provide smooth, accurate cuts in materials. However, when the length to diameter (L/D) ratio of the boring bar becomes large, low-frequency vibration, or chatter, results. Initial attempts to control this unwanted vibration with an active absorber have been successful, but in some configurations problems remain. In this paper, algorithms for flexible structure identification widely used in the aerospace industry are applied to a number of boring bar setups to identify the vibration characteristics of each system. Emphasis is placed on one class of methods which includes the Eigensystem Realization Algorithm (ERA), developed for identification of flexible space structures. The resulting identified characteristics are compared and contrasted. Results are also compared to finite element analysis predictions. From the current identification results, implications for chatter control are discussed, including the possibility of nonlinear modal interactions.

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