This paper describes an analytical investigation of the dynamic response and performance of impact vibration absorbers fitted to flexible structures that are attached to a rotating hub. This work was motivated by experimental studies at NASA, which demonstrated the effectiveness of these types of absorbers for reducing resonant transverse vibrations in periodically excited rotating plates. Here we show how an idealized model can be used to describe the essential dynamics of these systems, and used to predict absorber performance. The absorbers use centrifugally induced restoring forces so that their nonimpacting dynamics are tuned to a given order of rotation, whereas their large amplitude dynamics involve impacts with the primary flexible system. The linearized, nonimpacting dynamics are first explored in detail, and it is shown that the response of the system has some rather unique features as the hub rotor speed is varied. A class of symmetric impacting motions is also analyzed and used to predict the effectiveness of the absorber when operating in its impacting mode. It is observed that two different types of grazing bifurcations take place as the rotor speed is varied through resonance, and their influence on absorber performance is described. The analytical results for the symmetric impacting motions are also used to generate curves that show how important absorber design parameters—including mass, coefficient of restitution, and tuning—affect the system response. These results provide a method for quickly evaluating and comparing proposed absorber designs.

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