Mechanical engineering PhD student Ganesh Patil was awarded first place in the student paper competition of the Structural Acoustics and Vibration Technical Committee at the 182nd meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA).
Patil presented his research, “Experimental study of nonlinear waves in phononic materials with rough contacts,” at the conference earlier this summer in Denver. The presentation was part of a special session on “Nonlinear metamaterials and phononics.”
The goal of his research, which he conducts in MechSE Assistant Professor Katie Matlack’s Wave Propagation and Metamaterials Laboratory, is to understand the complex interactions of mechanical waves with geomaterial microstructural features such as micro-cracks and to use these features to design new materials with beneficial dynamic properties. The roughness on the surfaces of microcracks (or rough contacts) exhibits highly nonlinear mechanical properties that have been exploited in nondestructive evaluation techniques but in this work, the team is exploiting an array of rough contacts to design phononic materials (also known as metamaterials) to achieve properties not found in naturally existing materials.
Their study revealed that these artificial materials support atypical wave signatures – propagation of energy through compact pulses and energy trapping through acoustic resonances. These signatures are present simultaneously in the material and can dominate each other for certain frequencies. The results are significant as they could inform the design of new materials to mitigate impacts and damaging vibrations, potentially leading to improved component life and safety.
Patil also won the Best Student Paper Award from ASA in 2020 at the society’s virtual conference.