Because no stiffness matrix is assembled in explicit analysis, *DAMPING_PART_STIFFNESS, whether COEF is entered as positive or negative, is not equivalent to traditional Rayleigh stiffness damping which, as you noted, can be obtained via implicit analysis. Rather, stiffness damping in explicit is implemented at the element level and is generally used with COEF positive and not greater than 0.10 as a means to reduce high frequency noise in the results.
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