The active vibration control of a rectangular sandwich plate by Positive Position Feedback is experimentally investigated. The thin walled structure, consisting of carbon-epoxy outer skins and a Nomex paper honeycomb core, has completely free boundary conditions. A detailed linear and nonlinear characterization of the vibrations of the plate was previously performed by our research group [1, 2]. Four couples of unidirectional Macro Fiber Composite (MFC) piezoelectric patches are used as strain sensors and actuators. The positioning of the patches is led by a finite element modal analysis, in the perspective of a modal control strategy aimed at the lowest four natural frequencies of the structure. Numerical and experimental verifications estimate the resulting influence of the control hardware on the modal characteristics of the plate. Experimental values are also extracted for the control authority of the piezoelectric patches in the chosen configuration. Single Input – Single Output (SISO) and MultiSISO Positive Position Feedback algorithms are tested and the transfer function parameters of the controller are tuned according to the previously known values of modal damping. A totally experimental procedure to determine the participation matrices, necessary for the Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output configuration, is developed. The resulting algorithm proves successful in selectively reducing the vibration amplitude of the first four vibration modes in the case of a broadband disturbance. PPF is therefore used profitably on laminated composite plates in conjunction with strain transducers, for the control of the low frequency range up to 100 Hz. The relevant tuning procedure moreover, proves straightforward, despite the relatively high number of transducers. The rigid body motions which arise in case of free boundary conditions do not affect the operation of the active control.

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