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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 19, Number 5, May 2017, pages 487-497

Analog active valve control design for non-linear semi-active resetable devices
Geoffrey W. Rodgers, J. Geoffrey Chase and Sylvain Corman

    Semi-active devices use the building\'s own motion to produce resistive forces and are thus strictly dissipative and require little power. Devices that independently control the binary open/closed valve state can enable novel device hysteresis loops that were not previously possible. However, some device hysteresis loops cannot be obtained without active analog valve control allowing slower, controlled release of stored energy, and is presents an ongoing limitation in obtaining the full range of possibilities offered by these devices. This in silico study develops a proportional-derivative feedback control law using a validated nonlinear device model to track an ideal diamond-shaped force-displacement response profile using active analog valve control. It is validated by comparison to the ideal shape for both sinusoidal and random seismic input motions. Structural application specific spectral analysis compares the performance for the non-linear, actively controlled case to those obtained with an ideal, linear model to validate that the potential performance will be retained when considering realistic nonlinear behaviour and the designed valve control approach. Results show tracking of the device force-displacement loop to within 3-5% of the desired ideal curve. Valve delay, rather than control law design, is the primary limiting factor, and analysis indicates a ratio of valve delay to structural period must be 1/10 or smaller to ensure adequate tracking, relating valve performance to structural period and overall device performance under control. Overall, the results show that active analog feedback control of energy release in these devices can significantly increase the range of resetable, valve-controlled semi-active device performance and hysteresis loops, in turn increasing their performance envelop and application space.
Key Words
    nonlinear; control; design; semi-active; earthquake; energy dissipation; valve control
Geoffrey W. Rodgers, J. Geoffrey Chase and Sylvain Corman: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand

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