Real-time hybrid simulation of structures equipped with viscoelastic-plastic dampers using a user-programmable computational platform
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A user-programmable computational/control platform was developed at the University of Toronto that offers real-time hybrid simulation (RTHS) capabilities. The platform was verified previously using several linear physical substructures. The study presented in this paper is focused on further validating the RTHS platform using a nonlinear viscoelastic-plastic damper that has displacement, frequency and temperature-dependent properties. The validation study includes damper component characterization tests, as well as RTHS of a series of single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) systems equipped with viscoelastic-plastic dampers that represent different structural designs. From the component characterization tests, it was found that for a wide range of excitation frequencies and friction slip loads, the tracking errors are comparable to the errors in RTHS of linear spring systems. The hybrid SDOF results are compared to an independently validated thermalmechanical viscoelastic model to further validate the ability for the platform to test nonlinear systems. After the validation, as an application study, nonlinear SDOF hybrid tests were used to develop performance spectra to predict the response of structures equipped with damping systems that are more challenging to model analytically. The use of the experimental performance spectra is illustrated by comparing the predicted response to the hybrid test response of 2DOF systems equipped with viscoelastic-plastic dampers.
Keywordsreal-time hybrid simulation user-programmable computational/control platform supplemental dampers performance spectra
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The financial support for this study from NSERC Discovery (Grant 371627-2009) and NSERC RTI (Grant 374707-2009 EQPEQ) programs, as well as the startup funds from the University of Toronto are gratefully acknowledged. Any opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors.
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