Analysis, Design & Performance

Single Abstract

339286 - Investigation of Vehicle Shock Absorbers for Low-Cost Seismic Protection of Structures

Friday, April 20
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: 204AB

While there have been a number of applications of energy dissipation devices (dampers) for seismic response control of structures, the dampers that have been used are typically high precision devices with associated high cost. This paper presents an alternative approach to implementing damping devices wherein low cost, off-the-shelf vehicle shock absorbers are utilized. A common approach to providing a supplemental source of energy dissipation is to install discrete fluid viscous dampers throughout the structure. Such dampers have several desirable features such as reduced story shears due to the phasing of the damping forces relative to the structure restoring forces, their reliability after long periods of inactivity, and their mild temperature dependence. Although these features may not available to the same extent in low cost shock absorbers, the shock absorbers may be adequate for providing seismic protection of a class of structures characterized by low weight and low height (e.g., low to mid-rise wood or steel-framed buildings). In this paper, an analytical model that describes the cyclic behavior of a vehicle shock absorber is used to perform numerical simulations that demonstrate that the use of such devices, when installed in a parallel arrangement, results in a hysteresis loop that is similar to that of fluid viscous dampers. In addition, via a simplified SDOF dynamic analysis, the paper explores the implications of the additional energy storage provided by shock absorbers on the seismic response of a structure. Finally, verification of simulation results via experimental testing are described. In summary, this paper will present structural engineers with a new concept for providing low-cost seismic protection to structures. Such an approach may prove particularly beneficial in seismically vulnerable communities that have limited resources.

Christopher M. Zaverdas

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Christopher Zaverdas is a graduate student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His field of research is seismic protection systems, with an emphasis on development of cost-effective seismic damping systems. He has presented his research at the 3rd Huixian International Forum on Earthquake Engineering for Young Researchers in August 2017.


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Michael D. Symans

Associate Professor
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Michael D. Symans is currently an Associate Professor and Director of the Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering Laboratory in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute. In recent years, Dr. Symans has collaborated on a number of large-scale research projects, primarily focusing on the advancement of seismic protection systems for application to highway bridges and light-framed buildings. He is a member of several professional organizations including the American Society of Civil Engineers where he currently serves as the Chair of the Technical Administrative Committee for Analysis and Computation. He is also a former member of the Board of Directors of the Consortium of Universities for Research on Earthquake Engineering. Dr. Symans is the author of over 100 scholarly publications and has presented his research at numerous national and international conferences.


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339286 - Investigation of Vehicle Shock Absorbers for Low-Cost Seismic Protection of Structures

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