Mitigating the effect of impact loading on a vehicle using an essentially nonlinear absorber

D. Wang, Y. S. Lee, D. M. McFarland, Lawrence Bergman, A. F. Vakakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study is to investigate the ability of an essentially nonlinear vibration absorber to mitigate the large accelerations transmitted to a passenger compartment of a vehicle which is subjected to shock-type transient loading at the chassis. For such problems, the induced vibration typically attains its maximum value shortly after the application of the loading; thus, it may be impossible to dissipate a major portion of the input energy prior to the occurrence of the peak response. Here, a class of absorbers possessing a form of discontinuous essential stiffness nonlinearity is employed to achieve the desired mitigation. In this paper, we apply a single vibro-impact (VI) absorber to the chassis and examine whether the resulting energy transfer mechanism is an effective way to reduce the peak value of the inertial force measured at the passenger compartment. The influence of the absorber parameters is first studied based on a practical impulsive force, and the optimal design of the absorber is then obtained. Next, an asymmetric clearance arrangement of the absorber is suggested to facilitate the mitigation. Finally, an impulsive acceleration excitation is applied to the system to examine the robustness and efficacy of the optimised absorber. Results of numerical simulations demonstrate that a properly designed VI absorber can significantly decrease the maximum inertial force at the passenger compartment, generated by external impulsive excitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1183-1204
Number of pages22
JournalVehicle System Dynamics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Peak inertial force
  • Shock mitigation
  • Targeted energy transfer
  • Vibro-impact absorber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Mechanical Engineering


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