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Loss of energy dissipation capacity from the deadzone in linear and nonlinear viscous damping devices

Mai Tong1 and Thomas Liebner2

  1. Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, State University of New York at Buffalo, USA

  2. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

Abstract: In a viscous damping device under cyclic loading, after the piston reaches a peak stroke, the reserve movement that follows may sometimes experience a short period of delayed or significantly reduced device force output. A similar delay or reduced device force output may also occur at the damper’s initial stroke as it moves away from its neutral position. This phenomenon is referred to as the effect of “deadzone”. The deadzone can cause a loss of energy dissipation capacity and less efficient vibration control. It is prominent in small amplitude vibrations. Although there are many potential causes of deadzone such as environmental factors, construction, material aging, and manufacture quality, in this paper, its general effect in linear and nonlinear viscous damping devices is analyzed. Based on classical dynamics and damping theory, a simple model is developed to capture the effect of deadzone in terms of the loss of energy dissipation capacity. The model provides several methods to estimate the loss of energy dissipation within the deadzone in linear and sublinear viscous fluid dampers. An empirical equation of loss of energy dissipation capacity versus deadzone size is formulated, and the equivalent reduction of effective damping in SDOF systems has been obtained. A laboratory experimental evaluation is carried out to verify the effect of deadzone and its numerical approximation. Based on the analysis, a modification is suggested to the corresponding formulas in FEMA 356 for calculation of equivalent damping if a deadzone is to be considered.

Keywords: viscous damping device; stroke; deadzone; sublinear; viscous fluid dampers

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Copyright© 2009 IEM. Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as described below, without written permission from the Publisher. Copying of articles is not permitted except for personal and internal use, to the extent permitted by national copyright law, or under the terms of a license issued by the National Reproduction Rights Organization of China.