Vibration Video

PID Damper
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PID Particle Impact Damper
NASA Technology Transfer
Attenuate Fundamental Frequency fo Vibration

Inside P.I.D. Model

Watch 2 minute video Particle Impact Damper.

Problem: Harsh vibration causes premature component failure and damage to Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) assemblies.

Solution: Add PID to heritage hardware. PID extends hardware life. It is a lighter, simpler solution, reducing the need for redundant systems. After vibration hardening, old hardware is ready for new missions in new operating environments.

Vibration is attenuated by mounting a PID near the geometric center (anti-node) of the PCB. The damping effect increases reliability in the PCB. The PID may be located on either side of the board. PID may also be attached to an optional interposer bridge to avoid interference with existing components on the board.

The PID is housed in a hermetically sealed container that is filled to 90% with tungsten (W) balls. The counterbalance impact of tungsten balls in the PID dampens fundamental frequency fo mode vibrations in the PCB assembly. This maximizes energy transfer to the PID to dampen vibration. The weight of the PID is approximately 10% the mass of the PCB assembly.

Tungsten (W) is environmentally friendly. Tungsten's properties include high density and tensile strength. The PID can fully functional at extreme temperatures without derating.

Vibration at the fundamental frequency fo causes bending, fatigue and cracks in the PCB assembly. Excessive vibration from external excitations lead to catastrophic failure. NASA invented PID technology to reduce vibration and increase reliability in circuit board assemblies.

PID are commercially available COTS components. Mounting methods include: standard surface mount soldering, throughhole, screw mounting and epoxy mounting with permanent adhesives. Engineering development kits are currently under development.

PCB Board Assembly and PID
Weight & Size Chart
PCB Assembly
Tungsten (W)
Payload in PID
0.23 kg
(0.5 lbs)
19mm 19mm 0.023 kg
(0.050 lbs)
25mm 15mm
0.5 kg
(1.1 lbs)
25mm 23mm 0.05 kg
(0.11 lbs)
32mm 17mm
38mm 15mm
1.0 kg
(2.2 lbs)
25mm 35mm 0.10 kg
(0.22 lbs)
32mm 25mm
38mm 20mm
1.5 kg
(3.3 lbs)
32mm 33mm 0.15 kg
(0.33 lbs)
38mm 25mm
2.0 kg
(4.4 lbs)
32mm 40mm 0.20 kg
(0.44 lbs)
38mm 30mm
3.0 kg
(6.6 lbs)
38mm 40mm 0.30 Kg
(0.66 lbs)
4.0 kg
(8.8 lbs)
45mm 40mm 0.40 kg
(0.88 lbs)
5.0 kg
(11 lbs)
50mm 32mm 0.50 kg
(1.1 lbs)
6.0 kg
(13 lbs)
50mm 38mm 0.60 kg
(1.3 lbs)
Note: Consult TopLine for other sizes.

PID Simulation
  •  Card Simulation

Particle Damper
Single Degree of
Freedom Oscillator

PID technology works without batteries or electrical power. The motion of the tungsten balls in the sealed PID housing removes vibratory energy from non-linear vibroacoustic environments such as PCB card assemblies. Losses and damping occur during impacts between the tungsten balls and the walls. The PID straightens the PCB at the central lobe and attenuates vibration by pushing and pulling the PCB in the opposite direction after the tungsten balls overcome gravity. PID is also suitable for tuned beam fixtures.

Schematic of PID and System
M = Mass of Card Assembly
K = Stiffness of Card at fo
C= Inherent Damping of Card
mp = Mass Tungsten Balls in PID

Inspired by GravityTM

Simulation of Particle Impact Damper

Weibull Failure Analysis #1
A destructive life test was performed on NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center printed circuit card assemblies 4" x 7" (10 x 18cm) 0.090-inch (2.3mm) thick. Four 21mm x 21mm daisy-chained 400-I/O CCGA column grid array components were mounted on each card. One card was left undamped. A PID damper was epoxy mounted at the center of the second card. The cards were mounted side by side onto a vibration table and subjected to excessive vibrations. 19 channels on the undamped boards (without PID) failed within 12 minutes. By comparison, 19 channels on the damped boards (with PID) survived 5 hours (306 minutes) before ultimately failing. See YouTube Video.


Weibull Failure Analysis #2
Comparison was made between assemblies of two different card thickness: 0.070-inch (1.78mm) versus 0.090-inch (2.3mm). Card size 4" x 7" (10 x 18cm). 8 assemblies total. 4 assemblies of each thickness. Four 21mm x 21mm daisy-chained 400-I/O CCGA column grid array components were mounted on each card. 2 cards of each thickness were left undamped. A PID particle impact damper was epoxy mounted at the center of the other cards. Cards of same thickness were mounted side by side onto a vibration table and subjected to excessive vibrations. A channel failure was defined as a total increase in resistance greater than 1000 Ohms connected through 100 I/O columns during vibration testing. The time for each failure was recorded. A Weibull analysis of channel failures for damped and undamped boards of two thicknesses was recorded. In all cases, damped assemblies with PID survived longer. The damped thinner boards (0.070-inch) with PID survived longer than the undamped thicker board (0.090 inch) without PID. See NASA study Demonstrating Effect Particle Impact Damper

Acceleration measured
during Weibull Failure Analysis #2
Comparison of undamped and damped assembly.
Strain Spectral Densities measured
during Weibull Failure Analysis #2
Comparison of undamped and damped assembly.

Outline Drawing (PDF)
Example layout of PID as a development kit. The housing consists of a cylindrical canister. The threaded PID housing is screwed onto the flange mounted near the geometric center of the board. A small plugged hole at the top of the canister allows tungsten balls to be added or removed. The payload of tungsten balls is determined while observing vibration damping (attenuation). A final design can be fabricated for volume production after optimizing the system.

Tungsten Balls
Property of Tungsten

Tungsten (W) is an environmentally friendly substance of high density and tensile strength that can fully function at extremely low and very high temperatures.

  • Atomic Number 74
  • Density 19.3g/cc (@20°C)
  • Linear CTE 4.3 ppm/deg;C
  • Poisson's Ratio 0.284
  • Melting Point 3400°C
  • Tensile Strength 700~3400 MPa @25°C

  • Weights and Measures:
  • Size: Ø2.0mm
  • Weight 0.07405 gm each
  • 13,500 balls per kg

  • Size: Ø0.079"
  • Weight 0.00016315 lbs each
  • 6131 per lbs
    Part Numbering System
        F           100           C           25x30     -     B    
    Series   Tungsten Payload
      PID Shape   Size
      Mount to PCB
    Series   •   Description
    F = Flange Mount

    K = Development Kit

    M = Micro Vibration Damper
    25 = 25 gm
    50 = 50 gm
    100 = 100 gm
    150 = 150 gm
    200 = 200 gm
    300 = 300 gm
    400 = 400 gm
    500 = 500 gm
    600 = 600 gm
    C = Cylindrical
    R = Rectangular
    X = Custom
    19 x 19
    25 x 15
    25 x 23
    25 x 35
    32 x 17
    32 x 25
    32 x 33
    32 x 40
    38 x 25
    38 x 30
    38 x 40
    45 x 40
    50 x 32
    50 x 38
    Other Sizes Available
    A • SMT Surface Mount

    B • Bolt/Screw

    E • Epoxy Adhesive

    L • Snap-in Terminals
    Thru Hole

    W • Wire
    Thru Hole

    Drawing Number System
        4         0         50         01    
    Series Mount Style Weight Code Option Code
    CodeItem Description
    4 = Flange Mount
    5 = Development Kit
    6 = Micro Vibration Damper
    9 = Hardware & Accessories
    0 = SMT
    1 = Bolt
    2 = Epoxy
    3 = Snap-in
    4 = Wire
    02 = 25 gm
    05 = 50 gm
    10 = 100 gm
    15 = 150 gm
    20 = 200 gm
    30 = 300 gm
    40 = 400 gm
    50 = 500 gm
    60 = 600 gm
    01 = Option A
    02 = Option B
    03 = Option C
    Consult TopLine
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