Plasma techniques are used to generate constrained layer damping (CLD) coatings on metallic substrates. The process involves the deposition of relatively thick, hard ceramic layers on to soft polymeric damping materials while maintaining the integrity of both layers. Reactive plasma sputter-deposition from an aluminium alloy target is used to deposit alumina layers, with Young's modulus in the range 77-220GPa and thickness up to 335 μ, on top of a silicone film. This methodology is also used to deposit a 40 μ alumina layer on a conventional viscoelastic damping film to produce an integral damping coating. Plasma CLD systems are shown to give at least 50 per cent more damping than equivalent metal-foil-based treatments. Numerical methods for rapid prediction of the performance of such coatings are discussed and validated by comparison with experimental results
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