Identification of Fractional Damping Parameters in Structural Dynamics Using Polynomial Chaos Expansion

Marcel Simon Prem*, Michael Klanner, Katrin Ellermann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to analyze the dynamics of a structural problem accurately, a precise model of the structure, including an appropriate material description, is required. An important step within the modeling process is the correct determination of the model input parameters, e.g., loading conditions or material parameters. An accurate description of the damping characteristics is a complicated task, since many different effects have to be considered. An efficient approach to model the material damping is the introduction of fractional derivatives in the constitutive relations of the material, since only a small number of parameters is required to represent the real damping behavior. In this paper, a novel method to determine the damping parameters of viscoelastic materials described by the so-called fractional Zener material model is proposed. The damping parameters are estimated by matching the Frequency Response Functions (FRF) of a virtual model, describing a beam-like structure, with experimental vibration data. Since this process is generally time-consuming, a surrogate modeling technique, named Polynomial Chaos Expansion (PCE), is combined with a semi-analytical computational technique, called the Numerical Assembly Technique (NAT), to reduce the computational cost. The presented approach is applied to an artificial material with well defined parameters to show the accuracy and efficiency of the method. Additionally, vibration measurements are used to estimate the damping parameters of an aluminium rotor with low material damping, which can also be described by the fractional damping model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)956-975
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Mechanics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2021


  • Parameter Identification Process
  • Numerical Assembly Technique
  • Polynomial Chaos Expansion
  • Frequency Response Function
  • viscoelastic material behavior
  • fractional Zener model

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