Constrained layer damping (CLD) is a highly effective passive vibration control strategy if optimized adequately. Factors controlling CLD performance are well documented for the flexural modes of beams but not for more complicated mode shapes or structures. The current paper introduces an approach that is suitable for locating CLD on any type of structure. It follows the cellular automaton (CA) principle and relies on the use of finite element models to describe the vibration properties of the structure. The ability of the algorithm to reach the best solution is demonstrated by applying it to the bending and torsion modes of a plate. Configurations that give the most weight-efficient coverage for each type of mode are first obtained by adapting the existing 'optimum length' principle used for treated beams. Next, a CA algorithm is developed, which grows CLD patches one at a time on the surface of the plate according to a simple set of rules. The effectiveness of the algorithm is then assessed by comparing the generated configurations with the known optimum ones
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