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Technical Paper

Modeling the Stiffness and Damping Properties of Styrene-Butadiene Rubber

Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SBR), a copolymer of butadiene and styrene, is widely used in the automotive industry due to its high durability and resistance to abrasion, oils and oxidation. Some of the common applications include tires, vibration isolators, and gaskets, among others. This paper characterizes the dynamic behavior of SBR and discusses the suitability of a visco-elastic model of elastomers, known as the Kelvin model, from a mathematical and physical point of view. An optimization algorithm is used to estimate the parameters of the Kelvin model. The resulting model was shown to produce reasonable approximations of measured dynamic stiffness. The model was also used to calculate the self heating of the elastomer due to energy dissipation by the viscous damping components in the model. Developing such a predictive capability is essential in understanding the dynamic behavior of elastomers considering that their dynamic stiffness can in general depend on temperature.
Journal Article

Efficient Probabilistic Reanalysis and Optimization of a Discrete Event System

This paper presents a methodology to evaluate and optimize discrete event systems, such as an assembly line or a call center. First, the methodology estimates the performance of a system for a single probability distribution of the inputs. Probabilistic Reanalysis (PRRA) uses this information to evaluate the effect of changes in the system configuration on its performance. PRRA is integrated with a program to optimize the system. The proposed methodology is dramatically more efficient than one requiring a new Monte Carlo simulation each time we change the system. We demonstrate the approach on a drilling center and an electronic parts factory.