Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published March 2011 | Published
Journal Article Open

Actuators for the generation of highly nonlinear solitary waves


In this paper we present the design of two actuators for the generation of highly nonlinear solitary waves (HNSWs), which are mechanical waves that can form and travel in highly nonlinear systems. These waves are characterized by a constant spatial wavelength and by a tunable propagation speed, dependent on the wave amplitude. To date, the simplest and widely adopted method to generate HNSWs is by impacting a striker onto a chain of beads of equal size and mass. This operation is conducted manually and it might be impracticable if repetition rates higher than 0.1 Hz are necessary. It is known that the HNSWs' properties, such as amplitude, duration, and speed can be modified by changing the size or the material of the particles, the velocity of the striker, and/or the precompression on the chain. To address the limitations associated with the manual generation of HNSWs we designed, built, and tested two actuators. The first actuator consists of a chain of particles wrapped by an electromagnet that induces static precompression on the chain. This design allows for the generation of solitary waves with controlled properties. The second actuator consists of a chain surmounted by an electromagnet that lifts and releases a striker. This actuator permits the remote and noncontact generation of solitary waves. The performance of both actuators is evaluated by comparing the experimental HNSWs to theoretical predictions, based on the long wavelength approximation.

Additional Information

© 2011 American Institute of Physics. Received 6 December 2010; accepted 29 January 2011; published online 10 March 2011. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Grant No. CMMI-0825983 (Dr. Eduardo Misawa, Program Director). C.D. acknowledges support from NSF/CMMI-0844540 (Career). P.R. and X.N. also thank the 2009 ASNT Fellowship Award.

Attached Files

Published - Ni2011p13636Review_of_Scientific_Instruments.pdf


Files (477.8 kB)
Name Size Download all
477.8 kB Preview Download

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 23, 2023