Honeycomb with structured core for extreme damping and mechanical performance

Sponsored by Rolls-Royce, this project focuses on improving the vibration damping performance of honeycombs with embedded passive damping elements. Marc-Antoine Boucher has so far concentrated on the use of shape memory alloys and presented a paper and poster at a recent SPIE conference.

Unlike active control (achieved with "smart materials" such as Piezoelectric materials), passive damping doesn't need any external power or control. In short, passive damping is provided by the use of specific materials which exhibit good damping properties such as viscoelastic materials or special metals like Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs). Passive damping also encompasses mechanical systems that dissipate energy by friction, particle impact, or constrained layer damping.

The goal of this project is to provide a honeycomb structure which exhibits enhanced damping properties without penalties in terms of weight or other mechanical properties. Designs for honeycombs with enhanced damping properties are being studied using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and experiments (see figure for some examples of such designs).

Marc-Antoine Boucher is a postgraduate research student currently studying for a PhD at the University of Exeter. He get is graduation from both the ENSMM school of engineering and University of Besancon (France) where he was awarded an Engineering Diploma and a Masters degree. 


Boucher M-A et al. Damping capacity in shape memory alloy honeycomb structures, Proc. SPIE 7643, 764332 (2010); doi:10.1117/12.847604.

Examples of designs for honeycombs with enhanced damping properties.