Friction at connecting joints is a key mechanism by which passive damping occurs in built-up structures. This paper explores the ability of friction to transfer energy between subsystems of an interconnected system. Two single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) systems are used to represent separate subsystems and a third mass is used to represent the connecting joint. A Stribeck friction model is used to represent the resistive force acting on this coupling mass. Through numerical simulation studies, the influence of the subsystem dynamics on the overall energy dissipation levels is investigated. In particular, it is seen that favorable tuning conditions exist that result in a “pumping” of energy from the low-frequency motion of one subsystem to the higher-frequency motion of the other subsystem. It is also seen that one-way energy transfer can occur in such a system due to the eventual joint lock-up that can occur when the connecting mass sticks.

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