A new method to calculate damping properties of rigid materials to be used in Finite Elements calculations is presented.
Its relevance relies in its simplicity regarding the amount of materials data, mathematical treatment and experimental
equipment needed. Its application allows more realistic calculation of mechanical parts and structures under dynamic
loading. In most of those calculations very unreal assumptions are done when simulating with Finite Elements software to
assure stability of the solution. The main reason for that situation is the lack of information of damping properties of
materials in databases and the complexity of the reported methodology to calculate or measure them. Another reason is
the common development time for new products in industry encouraging engineers to quickly evaluate mechanical
performance of the product. Recommendations to select initial parameters are presented. Critical parameters to achieve
good mathematical fits of the experimental data are identified. Theoretical treatment, fitting algorithm and experimental
procedure are described and proved. Several materials: plastics and ferrous and nonferrous metals are studied to
demonstrate the validity of the proposed method. Finally, the method is proved in a complex hyperstatic threedimensional
structure under dynamic loading; including working under resonance conditions. Results obtained prove
the validity of the method and its application to real world situations.