A partial differential equation model of a cantilevered beam with a tip mass at its free end is used to study damping in a composite. Four separate damping mechanisms consisting of air damping, strain rate damping, spatial hysteresis, and time hysteresis are considered experimentally. Dynamic tests were performed to produce time histories. The time history data is then used along with an approximate model to form a sequence of least squares problems. The solution of the least squares problem yields the estimated damping coefficients. The resulting experimentally determined analytical model is compared with the time histories via numerical simulation of the dynamic response. The procedure suggested here is compared with a standard modal damping ratio model commonly used in experimental modal analysis.

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