Enhancement of damping characteristics of beam structures via application of viscoelastic damping material is formulated as a multicriterion optimization problem. The design space for the problem consists of a mix of continuous, discrete, and integer design variables. Two distinct approaches, one a variant of the global criterion approach, and the other a specialized implementation of the genetic search method, are proposed as alternative solutions to this problem. While the first approach belongs to the general category of nonlinear programming methods, the genetic search strategy has its basis in stochastic search, and offers some distinct advantages in the problem under consideration. Results obtained in this work clearly demonstrate the relative importance of structural weight and desired modal damping on how the damping material must be applied to the beam.

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