The piezoelectric shunt damping technique based on the direct piezoelectric effect has been known as a simple, low-lost, lightweight, and easy to implement method for passive damping control of structural vibration. In this technique, a piezoelectric material is used to transform mechanical energy to electrical energy. When applying the piezoelectric shunt damping technique to passively control structural vibration, the piezoelectric materials must be bonded on or embedded in host structure where large strain is induced during vibration, thus to ensure vibrational mechanical energy to be transformed into electrical energy as much as possible.
In this paper, the concept of vibration control efficiency of a piezoelectric shunt damping system is proposed and studied theoretically and experimentally. In the study, PZT patches are used as energy converter, and the vibration control efficiency is expressed by the vibration reduction rate per area of the PZT patches. Emphasis is laid on the effect of the generalized electromechanical coupling coefficient K31 on the vibration control efficiency. Four PZT patches with different sizes are bonded on the geometrical central area of four similar clamped aluminum plates, respectively, and vibration control experiments are conducted for these plates using the R-L shunt circuit. The results indicate that the bigger the coupling coefficient K31, the larger the rate of vibration reduction, and hence, the higher the vibration control efficiency. It also shows that the vibration responses of the first mode of the plates bonded with different PZT patches can be reduced by about 30.5%，48.58%，85.47%, and 89.91%, respectively. It comes to a conclusion that the vibration control efficiency of the piezoelectric shunt damping system decreases with the increase of the area of the PZT patch, whereas the vibration reduction of the plate increases with the area of the PZT patch. Therefore, it is necessary to make topology optimization for the PZT patch in the vibration control utilizing the piezoelectric shunt damping technique.