Proof-mass actuators have been considered for a broad range of structural vibration control problems, from seismic protection for tall buildings to the improvement of metal machining productivity by stabilizing the self-excited vibrations known as chatter. This broad range of potential applications means that a variety of controllers have been proposed, without drawing direct comparisons with other controller designs that have been considered for different applications. This article takes three controllers that are potentially suitable for the machining chatter problem: Direct velocity feedback, tuned-mass-damper control (or vibration absorber control), and active-tuned-mass-damper control (or active vibration absorber control). These control strategies are restated within the more general framework of Virtual Passive Control. Their performance is first compared using root locus techniques, with a model based on experimental data, including the low frequency dynamics of the proof-mass. The frequency response of the test structure is then illustrated under open and closed-loop conditions. The application of the control strategies to avoid machine-tool chatter vibrations is then discussed, without going into detail on the underlying physical mechanisms of chatter. It is concluded that virtual passive absorber control is more straightforward to implement than virtual skyhook damping, and may be better suited to the problem of machining chatter
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