A long-stroke semi-active MR damper for building control using tuned masses

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National Information Centre of Earthquake Engineering
In this research the comprehensive development of a long-stroke MR-damper designed to control the earthquake performance of an existing 21-story reinforced concrete building in Santiago (Chile) by reacting on one of its tuned masses is presented. The ±1 m stroke MR-damper design is quite unique and considered the nominal response of the building equipped with two pendular masses of weight 160 tons each, and tuned to the fundamental mode of the structure. The realscale long-stroke MR-damper was designed by our research team and manufactured in Chile. The MR-damper was tested using a special testing rig designed to study devices with long stroke at large deformation velocities. The rig was implemented in the dynamics and vibration control laboratory at Universidad Catolica de Chile. Both, the long-stroke MRdamper and the control algorithm were experimentally validated using a suite of periodic and seismic signals. For the building numerical simulations, the nominal MR-damper force-displacement constitutive relationship was replaced by the measured force-displacement response of the damper in order to validate the theoretical MR-damper model used. Such model was used in simulations to predict the performance of the TM-MR damper assembly in the design phase of the damper. Furthermore, a new real-time structural displacement sensor was developed with this application since conventional technology and methods to measure building displacement are inaccurate for a real-time displacement control as proposed with this application. The real-time building displacement sensor was validated using a scaled-down building prototype subjected to shaking table tests before an actual size sensor was implemented within a test building. All electronic components of the tuned-mass MR-damper assembly were tested with a shaking table and subjected to strong motion accelerations while the MR-damper was working in its active mode. It is concluded that the proposed tuned-mass MRdamper solution is technically feasible and may be advantageous in some real-life situations. The stage of development of the technology reached a point that enables commercial implementation in a real structure.
Tuned mass MR damper, Real-Time Structural Measurement, Large scale MR damper, Shaking Table Test