Substructurability: The effect of interface location on a real-time dynamic substructuring test

N. Terkovics*, S. A. Neild, M. Lowenberg, R. Szalai, B. Krauskopf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
363 Downloads (Pure)


A full scale experimental test for large and complex structures is not always achievable. This can be due to many reasons, the most prominent one being the size limitations of the test. Real-time dynamic substructuring is a hybrid testing method where part of the system is modelled numerically and the rest of the system is kept as the physical test specimen. The numerical-physical parts are connected via actuators and sensors and the interface is controlled by advanced algorithms to ensure that the tested structure replicates the emulated system with sufficient accuracy. The main challenge in such a test is to overcome the dynamic effects of the actuator and associated controller, that inevitably introduce delay into the substructured system which, in turn, can destabilize the experiment. To date most research concentrates on developing control strategies for stable recreation of the full system when the interface location is given a priori. Therefore, substructurability is mostly studied in terms of control. Here we consider the interface location as a parameter and study its effect on the stability of the system in the presence of delay due to actuator dynamics and define substructurability as the system’s tolerance to delay in terms of the different interface locations. It is shown that the interface location has a major effect on the tolerable delays in an experiment and, therefore, careful selection of it is necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20160433
Number of pages25
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2192
Early online date17 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

Structured keywords

  • Engineering Mathematics Research Group


  • substructurability
  • delay differential equation
  • phase margin


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