Experimental Study of Strongly Nonlinear Resonances and Anti-Resonances in Granular Dimer Chains

R. Potekin, K. R. Jayaprakash, D. M. McFarland, K. Remick, L. A. Bergman, A. F. Vakakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous theoretical works considered the intrinsic dynamics of one-dimensional uncompressed granular dimer (diatomic) chains composed of pairs of dissimilar spherical elastic beads in Hertzian interaction. Such ordered granular media exhibit essentially nonlinear acoustics and have been characterized as 'sonic vacua' due to the fact that the speed of sound in these media (as defined in classical acoustics) is zero. Yet, depending on the mass ratios of the pairs of dissimilar beads of these dimers, it was proven that they may possess countable infinities of anti-resonances leading to solitary waves (this in spite of their high inhomogeneity), or countable infinities of strongly nonlinear resonances leading to passive strong attenuation of propagating pulses through energy radiation by means of excitation of traveling waves. The aim of this work is to experimentally verify the existence of these strongly nonlinear dynamics through a series of experiments involving granular dimer chains supported by flexures. By carefully designing the supporting flexures so that their dynamics is sufficiently 'soft' and thus separate from the 'stiff' dynamics governing the bead to bead interactions, we overcome a basic limitation for the experimental realization of such dimer systems, namely the construction of one-dimensional dimer chains with beads of different radii. Our results confirm experimentally the occurrence of nonlinear resonances and anti-resonances in dimer chains, and conclusively prove the capacity of appropriately designed granular dimers for passive strong attenuation of propagating pulses due to nonlinear resonance. Moreover, we validate the theoretical prediction that within the elastic range of bead to bead dynamical interactions the results are fully re-scalable with respect to energy. This work provides the first experimental evidence of strongly nonlinear resonances and anti-resonances in essentially nonlinear ordered granular media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)861-870
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Granular dimer
  • Nonlinear resonance
  • Solitary wave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental Study of Strongly Nonlinear Resonances and Anti-Resonances in Granular Dimer Chains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this