Owing to their ability to block propagating waves at certain frequencies, phononic materials of self-repeating cells are widely appealing for acoustic mitigation and vibration suppression applications. The stop band behavior achieved via Bragg scattering in phononic media is most commonly evaluated using wave propagation models which predict gaps in the dispersion relations of the individual unit cells for a given frequency range. These models are in many ways limited when analyzing phononic structures with dissipative constituents and need further adjustments to account for viscous damping given by complex elastic moduli and frequency-dependent loss factors. A new approach is presented which relies on evaluating structural intensity parameters, such as the active vibrational power flow in finite phononic structures. It is shown that the steady-state spatial propagation of vibrational power flow initiated by an external disturbance reflects the wave propagation pattern in the phononic medium and can thus be reverse engineered to numerically predict the stop band frequencies for different degrees of damping via a stop band index (SBI). The treatment is shown to be very effective for phononic structures with viscoelastic components and provides a clear distinction between Bragg scattering effects and wave attenuation due to material damping. Since the approach is integrated with finite element methods, the presented analysis can be extended to two-dimensional lattices with complex geometries and multiple material constituents.

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