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Vibro-Acoustic Monitoring in the Smart Structures Laboratory at Swinburne

Over the last two years, we provided our vibro-acoustics services to manufacturers in the Smart Structures Laboratory (SSL) of Swinburne University of Technology. Our team monitored present and future construction methods for high rise buildings, providing a solution to the global crisis of creaky, noisy towers due to wind events.

Monitoring a structure with the Multi-Axis Substructure Testing System (MAST) under dynamic effects of different loading events allowed our team to understand the real dynamic behaviour of a structure, and improve the safety, reliability, performance and comfort of the structure.

In collaboration with Swinburne University and Traxx Metal Framing Systems, our team tested the structure-borne noise and vibration responses of a lightweight prototype vibration isolation system, Qubit360. The primary performance objectives were the structural behaviour (damage state) observed after each loading series of lateral drift, and the vibro-acoustic behaviour during a given loading series of lateral drift.

Qubit360 was installed inside the head track frame of the prototype walls and fastened to the structure to decouple the steel frame walls from structural elements, and consequently, avoid rigid connections. The bracket system deflects vertically and in-plane with a 360 degree of freedom, providing the required degree of vibration isolation, and consequently minimising creaks within the building under wind events.

The prototype was excited by external dynamic forces (MAST) using specific dynamic cycles and deflections. Vibro-acoustic results were measured using accelerometers and microphones at critical locations. For the characterisation of the vibro-acoustic properties and behaviour of the structure, signal analysis was used to confirm frequency response functions, induced-sound pressure levels due to stress/friction and movements of the structure including FFT analysis.

The system was tested with conventional construction methods and the results were correlated and analysed, having the potential to revolutionise the way we work moving forward.