Why is brake squeal so twitchy. Modelling and sensitivity studies of friction-driven vibration

12 February 2009
Jim Woodhouse
Friction-driven vibration occurs in a number of contexts, from the violin string to brake squeal and machine tool vibration. A review of some key phenomena and approaches will be given, then the talk will focus on a particular aspect, the "twitchiness" of squeal and its relatives. It is notoriously difficult to get repeatable measurements of brake squeal, and this has been regarded as a problem for model testing and validation. But this twitchiness is better regarded as an essential feature of the phenomenon, to be addressed by any model with pretensions to predictive power. Recent work examining sensitivity of friction-excited vibration in a system with a single-point frictional contact will be described. This involves theoretical prediction of nominal instabilities and their sensitivity to parameter uncertainty, compared with the results of a large-scale experimental test in which several thousand squeal initiations were caught and analysed in a laboratory system. Mention will also be made of a new test rig, which attempts to fill a gap in knowledge of frictional material properties by measuring a parameter which occurs naturally in any linearised stability analysis, but which has never previously been measured.
  • Differential Equations and Applications Seminar