Experimental Validation of the Attenuation Properties in the Sonic Range of Metaconcrete Containing Two Types of Resonant Inclusions

Briccola, Deborah and Cuni, Marzio and De Juli, Alessio and Ortiz, Michael and Pandolfi, Anna (2021) Experimental Validation of the Attenuation Properties in the Sonic Range of Metaconcrete Containing Two Types of Resonant Inclusions. Experimental Mechanics, 61 (3). pp. 515-532. ISSN 0014-4851

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Background Metaconcrete is a new concept of concrete, showing marked attenuation properties under impact and blast loading, where traditional aggregates are partially replaced by resonant bi-material inclusions. In a departure from conventional mechanical metamaterials, the inclusions are dispersed randomly as cast in the material. The behavior of metaconcrete at supersonic frequencies has been investigated theoretically and numerically and confirmed experimentally. Objective The feasibility of metaconcrete to achieve wave attenuation at low frequencies demands further experimental validation. The present study is directed at characterizing dynamically, in the range of the low sonic frequencies, the—possibly synergistic—effect of combinations of different types of inclusions on the attenuation properties of metaconcrete. Methods Dynamic tests are conducted on cylindrical metaconcrete specimens cast with two types of spherical inclusions, made of a steel core and a polymeric coating. The two inclusions differ in terms of size and coating material: type 1 inclusions are 22 mm diameter with 1.35 mm PDMS coating; type 2 inclusions are 24 mm diameter with 2 mm layer natural rubber coating. Linear frequency sweeps in the low sonic range (< 10 kHz), tuned to numerically estimated inclusion eigenfrequencies, are applied to the specimens through a mechanical actuator. The transmitted waves are recorded by transducers and Fast-Fourier transformed (FFT) to bring the attenuation spectrum of the material into full display. Results Amplitude reductions of transmitted signals are markedly visible for any metaconcrete specimens in the range of the inclusion resonant frequencies, namely, 3,400-3,500 Hz for the PDMS coating inclusions and near 3,200 Hz for the natural rubber coating inclusions. Specimens with mixed inclusions provide a rather uniform attenuation in a limited range of frequencies, independently of the inclusion density, while specimens with a single inclusion type are effective over larger frequency ranges. With respect to conventional concrete, metaconcrete reduces up to 90% the amplitude of the transmitted signal within the attenuation bands. Conclusions Relative to conventional concrete, metaconcrete strongly attenuates waves over frequency bands determined by the resonant frequencies of the inclusions. The present dynamical tests conducted in the sonic range of frequencies quantify the attenuation properties of the metaconcrete cast with two types inclusions, providing location, range and intensity of the attenuation bands, which are dependent on the physical-geometric features of the inclusions.

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