This technical brief addresses the vibration control of a flexible beam structure using ER (electro-rheological) dampers. A clamped-clamped flexible beam system supported by two short columns is considered. An ER damper which is operated in shear mode is designed on the basis of Bingham model of the ER fluid, and attached to the flexible beam. After deriving the governing equation of motion and associated boundary conditions, a sliding mode controller is formulated to effectively suppress the vibration of the beam caused by external forces. In the formulation of the controller, parameter variations such as frequency deviation are treated to take into account the robustness of control system. The effectiveness of the proposed control system is confirmed by both simulation and experimental results.

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