Analysis, Design & Performance
339286 - Investigation of Vehicle Shock Absorbers for Low-Cost Seismic Protection of Structures
Friday, April 20
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
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.