Acoustic metamaterials display unusual mechanical wave manipulation behavior not seen in natural materials. In this study, nonlinear metamaterials with passive, amplitude-activated directional bandgaps are investigated. Test articles are constructed by installing periodic arrays of mass-loaded dome resonators on a square polycarbonate substrate. These resonators display nonlinear softening response with increase in excitation amplitude. Experiments conducted by mounting the test articles on low-stiffness boundaries along two adjacent sides and applying mechanical excitations at the opposite corner. A mechanically-staged laser vibrometer mounted overhead was used to make noncontact measurements at discrete plate and resonator locations. Measured displacement transmissibility verify the existence and extent of bandgap frequency ranges as well as amplitude-activated shifts in their bounds. Moreover, by tailoring the pattern of resonators within the array, preferential steering, focusing and selective beaming of waves within tunable frequency ranges depending on their amplitude are shown to be possible. Steady-state spatial maps depicting the displacement transmissibility field were generated from experiments and correlated with simulations to bring out underlying mechanisms. In addition, both lumped parameter and continuum models are considered to aid the design of scalable, passive adaptive metamaterial waveguides for applications ranging from seismic wave mitigation to MEMS transduction.

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