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What is Tribomechadynamics? In short, it’s a new field that has emerged from the confluence of structural dynamics, contact mechanics, and tribology. Central to these three fields is the study of interfaces; the difference comes in the length scale considered and the tools used to study an interface. Given a structure, such as an aeroturbine, the goal of Tribomechadynamics is to predict the response of the structure during the design stage (including the full nonlinear response), to predict the performance degradation over time, and to use models to optimize the design of the interfacial components (in terms of weight, properties, wear rates, etc.). Thus, the research in the Tribomechadynamics Lab spans length scales from nano to macro.

Unique Capabilities. To study the large range of length scales in the Tribomechadynamics Lab, several unique experimental capabilities have been developed:

  • Scanning laser profilometer: using this tool, we are able to measure the meso-scale features of an interface (i.e. curvature, machining variations, approximate roughness, etc.). This allows us to resolve features of interfaces as small as 0.5 um over an entire interface (our typical measurements are 4″ by 1″, but this is nowhere near the limit of our device).
  • Electronic pressure film: this unique capabilities allows an unprecedented real time measurement of contact pressure in a jointed interface during dynamic excitation. This allows us to directly validate new models of interface mechanics and to propose new hypotheses for how loads are borne in assemblies.
  • Single point laser microscope: unlike laser Doppler vibrometers, this tool enables us to measure features on the scale of nm, with ranges of approximately 1″. This allows for either very detailed measurements of surface roughness or non-contact measurements of vibration amplitudes.

Additional capabilities include all of those that may be found in a traditional structural dynamics lab or mechanics lab: shakers, impact hammers, accelerometers, laser Doppler vibrometers, strain gages, axial and compression (MTS) machines, etc.

Research. The Tribomechadynamics Lab is home to both graduate and undergraduate research as well as the Nonlinear Dynamics of Coupled Structures and Interfaces (ND-CSI) Summer Research Program. Please use the links above to navigate the site.

The Tribomechadynamic Lab’s research broadly encompasses the fields of:

  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Structural Dynamics
  • Nonlinear Mechanics
  • Contact/Interface Mechanics/Tribology
  • Numerical Methods
  • Vibration
  • Uncertainty Quantification
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Applied Mathematics for Mechanical Engineering

The central question of the Tribomechadynamic Lab’s research is how can we design and predict the response of an assembled structure that contains strong nonlinearities. This research is strongly motivated by the aerospace, defense, and automotive industries. To this end, the focus of the Tribomechadynamic Lab’s recent research has been constitutive modeling for impact dynamics, joint mechanics, the application of additive manufacturing for designing system level assemblies, and the application of a branch of complex number theory (termed hyper dual numbers) to developing parameterized models.

Open Positions. Current opportunities in the Tribomechadynamics Lab are now listed under the “Opportunites” tab!