The acoustic black hole (ABH) has been developed in recent years as an effective, passive, and lightweight method for attenuating bending wave vibrations in beams and plates and reducing the sound radiation and structural-acoustic response of structures. The ABH effect utilizes a local change in the plate or beam thickness to reduce the bending wave speed and increase the transverse vibration amplitude. Attaching a viscoelastic damping layer to the ABH results in effective energy dissipation and vibration reduction. Surface-averaged mobility and radiated sound power measurements were performed on an aluminum plate containing an array of 20 two-dimensional ABHs with damping layers and compared to a similar uniform plate. Detailed laser vibrometer scans of an ABH cell (including the ABH and surrounding homogeneous plate) were also performed to analyze the vibratory characteristics of individual ABH cells and compared with mode shapes calculated using finite elements. The results showed that the surface-averaged mobility was reduced by up to 14 dB for the fully damped ABH plate compared to a uniform reference plate while also reducing the mass of the plate. The results demonstrated that the dynamics of plates with embedded ABHs can be characterized by low, mid, and high frequency ranges, with low-order local ABH modes contributing significantly to low frequency ABH performance. The effects of damping layer thickness and diameter were also investigated to assess ABH performance optimization. It was shown that the damping layer can have the added benefit of mass loading the ABH and enhancing low frequency performance. The results will be useful for designing the low frequency performance of future ABH systems and describing ABH performance in terms of design parameters.

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