Supplemental Damping of Buildings and Structures
In many cases, stiffening lively buildings or structures is costly and reduces the amount of useable floor space. Alternatively, the process of supplemental damping provides an economic and effective option to control building accelerations and deflections. At GWE, we have designed, tested, and overseen the installation of supplemental dampers in numerous buildings across North America.
The Tuned Liquid Sloshing Damper (TLSD) is the most widely used and economical apparatus to control building motions. This device is installed near the top of a building and consists of one or more water-filled tanks fitted with internal baffles. The motion of the water in the tank, tuned to the natural frequency of the building, passes through the baffles and dissipates the energy of the moving structure.
At GWE, we can provide initial consultation for damping options, and when necessary, detailed designs of the TLSD using our dynamic test rig. This rig simulates the damping effect that the TLSD would impose upon the full scale building. Other damping solutions include; Tuned Liquid Column Dampers (TLCD), Tuned Mass Dampers (TMD), and Tuned Pendulum Dampers (TPD). Although more expensive, these solutions may be used in certain situations to accommodate unique space requirements.
To suppress the vibration of slender structures such as bridge decks, slender towers, and flexible sculptures, special damping solutions are sometimes necessary. These include smaller versions of the TMDs used for buildings, Impact Chain Dampers (ICD), and Viscoelastic Dampers (VD). While TMDs and ICDs dissipate vibration energy through “tuned” secondary masses, VDs dissipate the energy through the viscous dissipation of fluid or the plastic deformation of the interfacing material itself. A wide variety of dampers can be used to satisfy different design requirements and unique site conditions.
At GWE, we have practical experience with a wide array of economical damping solutions.