Design and Performance Analysis of Inerter-Based Vibration Control Systems

  • Irina F. Lazar
  • Simon A. Neild
  • David J. Wagg
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


This paper introduces a novel type of passive control system designed to suppress unwanted vibrations in civil engineering structures subjected to base and lateral excitation. The new system configuration, inspired by traditional tuned mass dampers (TMD) where the mass element has been replaced with an inerter is presented. An inerter is a two-terminal flywheel device with the capacity to generate high apparent mass and it was initially developed for Formula 1 racing cars suspension systems. An analytical tuning procedure for inerter-based systems has been developed. This is inspired by traditional tuning rules for damped vibration absorbers. The inerter-based system performance is assessed in comparison to TMDs. It is shown that the new control system suppresses the response of all modes, which constitutes an advantage with respect to TMDs. Moreover, our analysis shows that the new system is most effective when located at ground storey level, which is advantageous for its installation. A multiple-degree-of-freedom structure is analysed numerically to verify our theoretical findings. This has been subjected to a range of excitation inputs, including wind and earthquake loads and its performance was similar or superior to that of TMDs, making the new device an attractive vibration-suppression method.


Inerter Tuned mass damper Vibration suppression Base excitation Lateral excitation 


  1. 1.
    Smith MC (2002) Synthesis of mechanical networks: the inerter. IEEE Trans Automat Control 47:1648–1662CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Garner BG, Smith MC (2013) Damping and inertial hydraulic device. Patent Application Publication, No US 2013/0037362A1Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Papageorgiou C, Smith MC (2005) Laboratory experimental testing of inerters. In: 44th IEEE conference on decision and control and the European control conference, Seville, Spain, pp 3351–3356Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Papageorgiou C, Houghton NE, Smith MC (2009) Experimental testing and analysis of inerter devices. J Dyn Syst Meas Control ASME 131:011001-1 - 011001-11Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wang F-C, Chan H-A (2011) Vehicle suspensions with a mechatronic network strut. Int J Veh Mech Mobil 49(5):811–830Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wang F-C, Liao M-K, Liao B-H, Su W-J, Chan H-A (2009) The performance improvements of train suspension systems with mechanical networks employing inerters. Int J Veh Mech Mobil 47:805–830Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Evangelou S, Limebeer DJN, Sharp RS, Smith MC (2007) Mechanical steering compensators for high-performance motorcycles. Trans ASME 74:332–346CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Scheibe F, Smith MC (2009) Analytical solutions for optimal ride comfort and tyre grip for passive vehicle suspensions. J Veh Syst Dyn 47:1229–1252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Smith MC, Wang F-C (2004) Performance benefits in passive vehicle suspensions employing inerters. J Veh Syst Dyn 42:235–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wang F-C, Su W-J (2008) Impact of inerter nonlinearities on vehicle suspension control. Int J Veh Mech Mobil 46:575–595Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wang F-C, Chen C-W, Liao M-K, Hong M-F (2007) Performance analyses of building suspension control with inerters. In: Proceedings of the 46th IEEE conference on decision and control, New Orleans, pp 3786–3791Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wang F-C, Hong M-F, Chen C-W (2009) Building suspensions with inerters. Proc IMechE J Mech Eng Sci 224:1605–1616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ikago K, Saito K, Inoue N (2012) Seismic control of single-degree-of-freedom structure using tuned viscous mass damper. Earthquake Eng Struct Dyn 41:453–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ikago K, Sugimura Y, Saito K, Inoue K (2012) Modal response characteristics of a multiple-degree-of-freedom structure incorporated with tuned viscous mass damper. J Asian Architect Build Eng 11:375–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sugimura Y, Goto W, Tanizawa H, Saito K, Nimomiya T (2012) Response control effect of steel building structure using tuned viscous mass damper. In: 15th world conference on earthquake engineeringGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lazar IF, Neild SA, Wagg DJ (2013) Using an inerter-based device for structural vibration suppression. Earthquake Eng Struct Dyn. dOI: 10.1002/eqe.2390, available in Early ViewGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Den Hartog JP (1940) Mechanical vibrations. McGraw Hill, New YorkzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lazar IF, Wagg DJ, Neild SA (2013) A new vibration suppression system for semi-active control of a two-storey building. In: 11th international conference on recent advances in structural dynamics, PisaGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Warburton GB (1982) Optimum absorber parameters for various combinations of response and excitation parameters. Earthquake Eng Struct Dyn 10:381–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irina F. Lazar
    • 1
  • Simon A. Neild
    • 1
  • David J. Wagg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of BristolBristolUK

Personalised recommendations