Title: Seismic Response Control Of Structures Using Semi-Active and Passive Variable Stiffness Devices

Authors: Salem,M.M.A., Pekcan,G. and Itani, A.

Date: May  2014

Performing Organization:
Department of Civil Engineering/258
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557


Controllable devices such as Magneto-Rheological Fluid Dampers, Electro-Rheological Dampers, and controllable friction devices have been studied extensively with limited implementation in real structures. Such devices have shown great potential in reducing seismic demands, either as smart base isolation systems, or as smart devices for multistory structures. Although variable stiffness devices can be used for seismic control of structures, the vast majority of research effort has been given to the control of damping. The primary focus of this dissertation is to evaluate the seismic control of structures using semi-active and passive variable stiffness characteristics. Smart base isolation systems employing variable stiffness devices have been studied, and two semi-active control strategies are proposed. The control algorithms were designed to reduce the superstructure and base accelerations of seismically isolated structures subject to near-fault and far-field ground motions. Computational simulations of the proposed control algorithms on the benchmark structure have shown that excessive base displacements associated with the near-fault ground motions may be better mitigated with the use of variable stiffness devices. However, the device properties must be controllable to produce a wide range of stiffness changes for an effective control of the base displacements.
The potential of controllable stiffness devices in limiting the base displacement due to near-fault excitation without compromising the performance of conventionally isolated structures, is illustrated.
The application of passive variable stiffness devices for seismic response mitigation of multistory structures is also investigated. A stiffening bracing system (SBS) is proposed to replace the conventional bracing systems of braced frames. An optimization process for the SBS parameters has been developed. The main objective of the design process is to maintain a uniform inter-story drift angle over the building's height, which in turn would evenly distribute the seismic demand over the building. This behavior is particularly essential so that any possible damage is not concentrated in a single story. Furthermore, the proposed design ensures that additional damping devices distributed over the building's height work efficiently with their maximum design capacity, leading to a cost efficient design.
An integrated and comprehensive design procedure that can be readily adopted by the current seismic design codes is proposed.
An equivalent lateral force distribution is developed that shows a good agreement with the response history analyses in terms of seismic performance and demand prediction.
This lateral force pattern explicitly accounts for the higher mode effect, the dynamic characteristics of the structure, the supplemental damping, and the site specific seismic hazard. Therefore, the proposed design procedure is considered as a standalone method for the design of SBS equipped buildings.