The scope of this research concerns the passive damping of vibrations of structures by the use of viscoelastic layers. It is motivated by the need for efficient numerical tools to deal with the medium frequency behaviour of industrial viscoelastic sandwich products.
The sandwich modelling technique is based on the use of an interface element: the two deformable plates are modelled by special plate elements while the intermediate dissipative layer is modelled with interface elements. This interface element is based on the first-order shear deformation theory and assume constant peel and shear stresses in the polymer thickness. This element couple the lower and upper layers without additional degrees of freedom.
The partition of unity finite element method (PUFEM) is applied to the development of enriched Mindlin plate elements. The element shape functions are obtained as the product of partition of unity functions with arbitrary chosen enrichment functions. Polynomial enrichment leads to the generation of high-order polynomial shape functions and is therefore very similar to a p-FEM technique. Numerical examples illustrate the use of both PUFEM Mindlin plate elements and interface elements for the simulation of viscoelastic sandwich structures.