Publications / Conference Paper

Investigating the Potential of Electrical Connection Chatter Induced by Structural Dynamics

Dankesreiter, Benjamin; Serrano, Manuel; Zhang, Jonathan; Pacini, Benjamin R.; Walczak, Karl A.; Flicek, Robert C.; Johnson, Kelsey M.; Zastrow, Ben

When exposed to mechanical environments such as shock and vibration, electrical connections may experience increased levels of contact resistance associated with the physical characteristics of the electrical interface. A phenomenon known as electrical chatter occurs when these vibrations are large enough to interrupt the electric signals. It is critical to understand the root causes behind these events because electrical chatter may result in unexpected performance or failure of the system. The root causes span a variety of fields, such as structural dynamics, contact mechanics, and tribology. Therefore, a wide range of analyses are required to fully explore the physical phenomenon. This paper intends to provide a better understanding of the relationship between structural dynamics and electrical chatter events. Specifically, electrical contact assembly composed of a cylindrical pin and bifurcated structure were studied using high fidelity simulations. Structural dynamic simulations will be performed with both linear and nonlinear reduced-order models (ROM) to replicate the relevant structural dynamics. Subsequent multi-physics simulations will be discussed to relate the contact mechanics associated with the dynamic interactions between the pin and receptacle to the chatter. Each simulation method was parametrized by data from a variety of dynamic experiments. Both structural dynamics and electrical continuity were observed in both the simulation and experimental approaches, so that the relationship between the two can be established.