An experimental and theoretical study of the damping behavior of thin layers of viscoelastic material subject to different cyclic loading situations is presented. The idea of the study stems from an idealization of conditions which may be encountered at the joints and support boundaries of beams and plates if damping media, such as viscoelastic adhesive, have penetrated between structural interfaces. The damping results from viscous shear action which is generated by the coupling, through damping material incompressibility, of the vibrational, cyclic variation of the joint interface volumes into a lateral pumping action. The paper focuses on experimental studies, with only a synopsis of the current theoretical work being presented. It turns out that a comparatively elementary level of analysis accounts for most of the results observed experimentally.

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