One major benefit of Additive Manufacturing is parts counts reduction. Several formerly distinct parts can be printed as one unit, reducing cost and weight. However, the interface between parts is often a major source of vibration damping, so eliminating interfaces can lead to fatigue failures. To alleviate this, researchers have been exploring the integration of damping features inside parts. Leaving a small pocket of unfused powder creates a particle damper. Particle dampers have long been known to suppress unwanted vibration. However they are highly complex and predicting their behavior is difficult. The particle damper literature often has contradictory claims, as what works best for one application does not work for another. Because the additive feedstock powder is much smaller (5–50 μm) than particles in typical particle dampers, it is difficult to draw conclusions from the existing literature to develop design guidelines. This papers reports on a Discrete Element Method (DEM) numerical simulation of additively manufactured cantilever beams with a small pocket of unfused powder. DEM explicitly simulates the motion of each particle and their interactions. Previously reported experiments with varying beam geometry showed nearly an order of magnitude difference in damping ratio depending on the location of the pocket along the beam. The simulation was able to accurately predict the damping ratio based on the input geometry. As a result, the correlated simulation tool can be used to optimize future designs. From the simulations, it was observed that particle-wall momentum exchange and particle-particle inelastic collisions appeared to be key contributors to the damping ratio. Additionally, a non-linear subharmonic motion of particles was observed, which suggests additional ways to improve performance.

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