The concept of switching the shunt circuit of a passive piezoelectric material used for vibration control has been studied by various researchers for the past decade. The technique involves connecting and disconnecting the piezoelectric actuator to and from a resistive, capacitive, or inductive shunt circuit in real time. By setting the switch timing appropriately, one can achieve significant damping in the accompanying structure. While the technique has been shown to be very effective in lab settings, the practical performance can be affected by several factors. This paper addresses some of the practical issues of switched shunts and analyzes the expected performance as various parameters vary in the system, including i) the original damping in the structure, ii) the relative stiffness of the structure and the actuator, and iii) mistiming of the shunt switching process. A simple single degree-of-freedom system with a switched resistor-inductor (RL) shunt is used in the study. The paper presents a mathematical model of the system and switched-shunt, and then presents the results of simulations that analyze the expected damping performance.

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