Recent advances in nonlinear passive vibration isolators
The theory of nonlinear vibration isolation has witnessed significant developments due to pressing demands for the protection of structural installations, nuclear reactors, mechanical components, and sensitive instruments from earthquake ground motion, shocks, and impact loads. In view of these demands, engineers and physicists have developed different types of nonlinear vibration isolators. This article presents a comprehensive assessment of recent developments of nonlinear isolators in the absence of active control means. It does not deal with other means of linear or nonlinear vibration absorbers. It begins with the basic concept and features of nonlinear isolators and inherent nonlinear phenomena. Specific types of nonlinear isolators are then discussed, including ultra-low-frequency isolators. For vertical vibration isolation, the treatment of the Euler spring isolator is based on the post-buckling dynamic characteristics of the column elastica and axial stiffness. Exact and approximate analyses of axial stiffness of the post-buckled Euler beam are outlined. Different techniques of reducing the resonant frequency of the isolator are described. Another group is based on the Gospodnetic–Frisch-Fay beam, which is free to slide on two supports. The restoring force of this beam resembles to a great extent the restoring roll moment of biased ships. The base isolation of buildings, bridges, and liquid storage tanks subjected to earthquake ground motion is then described. Base isolation utilizes friction elements, laminated-rubber bearings, and the friction pendulum. Nonlinear viscoelastic and composite material springs, and smart material elements are described in terms of material mechanical characteristics and the dependence of their transmissibility on temperature and excitation amplitude. The article is closed by conclusions, which highlight resolved and unresolved problems and recommendations for future research directions.