Health monitoring of a new hysteretic damper subjected to earthquakes on a shaking table

  • Romo, L. ;
  • Benavent-Climent, A. ;
  • Morillas, L. ;
  • Escolano, D. ;
  • Gallego, A.
  • Received : 2013.11.11
  • Accepted : 2014.05.20
  • Published : 2015.03.25


This paper presents the experimental results obtained by applying frequency-domain structural health monitoring techniques to assess the damage suffered on a special type of damper called Web Plastifying Damper (WPD). The WPD is a hysteretic type energy dissipator recently developed for the passive control of structures subjected to earthquakes. It consists of several I-section steel segments connected in parallel. The energy is dissipated through plastic deformations of the web of the I-sections, which constitute the dissipative parts of the damper. WPDs were subjected to successive histories of dynamically-imposed cyclic deformations of increasing magnitude with the shaking table of the University of Granada. To assess the damage to the web of the I-section steel segments after each history of loading, a new damage index called Area Index of Damage (AID) was obtained from simple vibration tests. The vibration signals were acquired by means of piezoelectric sensors attached on the I-sections, and non-parametric statistical methods were applied to calculate AID in terms of changes in frequency response functions. The damage index AID was correlated with another energy-based damage index -ID- which past research has proven to accurately characterize the level of mechanical damage. The ID is rooted in the decomposition of the load-displacement curve experienced by the damper into the so-called skeleton and Bauschinger parts. ID predicts the level of damage and the proximity to failure of the damper accurately, but it requires costly instrumentation. The experiments reported in this paper demonstrate a good correlation between AID and ID in a realistic seismic loading scenario consisting of dynamically applied arbitrary cyclic loads. Based on this correlation, it is possible to estimate ID indirectly from the AID, which calls for much simpler and less expensive instrumentation.


seismic-resistant structures;hysteretic dampers;piezoceramic sensors;structural health monitoring;non-parametrical methods;seismic loads;damage index


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