Magneto-rheological and passive damper combinations for seismic mitigation of building structures

  • Karunaratne, Nivithigala P.K.V. (School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, Science & Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology) ;
  • Thambiratnam, David P. (School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, Science & Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology) ;
  • Perera, Nimal J. (School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, Science & Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology)
  • Received : 2016.02.15
  • Accepted : 2016.08.19
  • Published : 2016.12.25


Building structures generally have inherent low damping capability and hence are vulnerable to seismic excitations. Control devices therefore play a useful role in providing safety to building structures subject to seismic events. In recent years semi-active dampers have gained considerable attention as structural control devices in the building construction industry. Magneto-rheological (MR) damper, a type of semi-active damper has proven to be effective in seismic mitigation of building structures. MR dampers contain a controllable MR fluid whose rheological properties vary rapidly with the applied magnetic field. Although some research has been carried out on the use of MR dampers in building structures, optimal design of MR damper and combined use of MR and passive dampers for real scale buildings has hardly been investigated. This paper investigates the use of MR dampers and incorporating MR-passive damper combinations in building structures in order to achieve acceptable levels of seismic performance. In order to do so, it first develops the MR damper model by integrating control algorithms commonly used in MR damper modelling. The developed MR damper is then integrated in to the seismically excited structure as a time domain function. Linear and nonlinear structure models are evaluated in real time scenarios. Analyses are conducted to investigate the influence of location and number of devices on the seismic performance of the building structure. The findings of this paper provide information towards the design and construction of earthquake safe buildings with optimally employed MR dampers and MR-passive damper combinations.


seismic engineering;energy dissipation;magneto-rheology;visco-elastic;friction;dampers


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