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Wind and Structures
  Volume 10, Number 3, May 2007, pages 233-247

Fabio Mazza and Alfonso Vulcano
Control of the along-wind response of steel framed buildings by using viscoelastic or friction dampers

    The insertion of steel braces has become a common technique to limit the deformability of steel framed buildings subjected to wind loads. However, when this technique is inadequate to keep floor accelerations within acceptable levels of human comfort, dampers placed in series with the steel braces can be adopted. To check the effectiveness of braces equipped with viscoelastic (VEDs) or friction dampers (FRDs), a numerical investigation is carried out focusing attention on a three-bay fifteen-storey steel framed building with K-braces. More precisely, three alternative structural solutions are examined for the purpose of controlling wind-induced vibrations: the insertion of additional diagonal braces; the insertion of additional diagonal braces equipped with dampers; the insertion of both additional diagonal braces and dampers supported by the existing K-braces. Additional braces and dampers are designed according to a simplified procedure based on a proportional stiffness criterion. A dynamic analysis is carried out in the time domain using a step-by-step initial-stress-like iterative procedure. Along-wind loads are considered at each storey assuming the time histories of the wind velocity, for a return period Tr=5 years, according to an equivalent wind spectrum technique. The behaviour of the structural members, except dampers, is assumed linear elastic. A VED and an FRD are idealized by a six-element generalized model and a bilinear (rigid-plastic) model, respectively. The results show that the structure with damped additional braces can be considered, among those examined, the most effective to control vibrations due to wind, particularly the floor accelerations. Moreover, once the stiffness of the additional braces is selected, the VEDs are slightly more efficient than the FRDs, because they, unlike the FRDs, dissipate energy also for small amplitude vibrations.
Key Words
    passive control; wind vibration control; energy dissipation; damped braced frames; dissipative braces; viscoelastic dampers; friction dampers; design of dissipative braces.
Dipartimento di Strutture, Universita della Calabria, 87036 Arcavacata di Rende (Cosenza), Italy

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