Structural Control Performance of a Pendulum Damper with Viscoelastic Pounding Effects



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The significance of vibration suppression in building structures and pipeline systems is crucial to ensure the longevity of the system and also to prevent catastrophic failures. This research project explores the control performance of a conventional pendulum damper and our newly designed pendulum damper with viscoelastic pounding effects. This novel design of pounding pendulum damper (PPD) consists of a flexible steel wire, couple layers of viscoelastic (VE) tapes, and a small tuned mass. The length of the conventional pendulum damper is properly calculated to match the natural frequency of the primary structure, while the length of the PPD is extended to reduce the tuned mass’s natural frequency to be half of the conventional pendulum damper because of a single side of pounding model. The impact damping ratio is experimentally determined based on the coefficient of restitution between viscoelastic materials and the metal tuned mass, thereby selecting proper thickness and type of VE material for the design of PPD. Then, comparative studies of control performance between a conventional pendulum damper and the new PPD has been conducted on a shear building structure under free vibrations and forced vibrations. Structural vibration responses illustrate the PPD can suppress free vibrations dramatically faster than a conventional pendulum damper. In addition, the PPD can reduce more than 85% of structural vibration motions under continuously forced vibration over a wide range of harmonic excitation frequencies. Therefore, the PPD has been demonstrated to be a more effective and robust structural control device.