The vibration control of structures is a valuable technique to increase their integrity and life-cycle. Among smart materials, the passive and active control systems based on piezoelectric elements have been studied in depth. Since the size and location of the piezo-elements on the structure are relevant matters for the damping efficiency, many works have focused on their placement optimization. Under certain circumstances, some structures may be excited by more vibration modes at the same time; hence, the signal conditioning system of the piezoelectric actuators must be capable of adjusting the driving signal in terms of voltage distribution, frequencies and associated amplitudes in order to maximize the damping efficiency. Moreover, in some applications, it could be useful to individually control each actuator therefore tailor-made power supply and signal generation systems are often necessary. This work suggests a low-cost and reliable workbench that overcomes the afore mentioned problems. The system consists of: (1) two arrays of 13 piezoceramic plates which have been glued on an aluminium beam, (2) ad hoc power supply equipment, and (3) mechanical relays arrays managed by a microcontroller for the individual handling of their operating modes. Furthermore, an Arduino board and an in-house software have been implemented in order to perform a task on each relay that is in turn wired to a single piezoelectric plate (PP). The performance of the developed system is evaluated in terms of noise and distortion of the testing signal measured at different points of the workbench. The results show that the proposed workbench may represent a good trade-off between affordability, accuracy and reliability and it can be used for several research purposes.
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