A Numerical Investigation of a Gravity-Compensated Nonlinear Energy Sink for the Passive Control of Flooring Systems

  • J. R. Ramsey
  • N. E. WierschemEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


Flooring systems are subjected to a variety of human-induced and mechanically-induced loads which can vary in amplitude, frequency, and location. Furthermore, the properties of flooring systems and the acceptable levels of vibration can change during the life of a building as it transitions between multiple different uses. Tuned mass dampers (TMDs) can be effective at controlling floor vibration; however, their effectiveness is limited because TMDs must be tuned and can only effectively control vibrations across a narrow band of frequencies. Recently, a passive mass damper, known as a gravity-compensated nonlinear energy sink (GCNES), was proposed to mitigate vertical vibrations. The unique geometric nonlinearity used to produce this device’s stiffness element compensates for the vertical offset resulting from the weight of the device and allows it to dynamically achieve a cubic nonlinearity. This strong nonlinearity allows the GCNES to interact with the flooring system across a broad range of frequencies. In this paper, a numerical model of a flooring system with a GCNES attached is developed. This model is then used to investigate the effectiveness of the GCNES, in comparison to the TMD, at controlling floor vibrations. The results of this study show that, while the TMD is more effective when mitigating excitations at the particular frequency it is tuned to, the GCNES can provide effective vibration control across a wide range of frequencies near the system’s resonance point.


Floor vibration Mass damper Nonlinear energy sink Passive control 


  1. 1.
    Allen, D.E., Pernica, G.: Control of Floor Vibration. Institute for Research in Construction, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (1998)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Saidi, I., Haritos, N., Gad, E.F., Wilson, J.L.: Floor vibrations due to human excitation-damping perspective. In: Proceedings of the Earthquake Engineering in Australia, pp. 257–264 (2006)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Webster, A.C., Vaicaitis, R.: Application of tuned mass dampers to control vibrations of composite floor systems. Eng. J. Am. Inst. Steel Constr. 29(3), 116–124 (1992)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Roffel, A.J., Lourenco, R., Narasimhan, S., Yarusevych, S.: Adaptive compensation for detuning in pendulum tuned mass dampers. J. Struct. Eng. 137(2), 242–251 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lee, Y.S., et al.: Passive non-linear targeted energy transfer and its applications to vibration absorption: a review. Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. Part K J. Multi-Body Dyn. 222(2), 77–134 (2008)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    McFarland, D.M., Kerschen, G., Kowtko, J.J., Lee, Y.S., Bergman, L.A., Vakakis, A.F.: Experimental investigation of targeted energy transfers in strongly and nonlinearly coupled oscillators. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 118(2), 791 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kovacic, I., Brennan, M.J., Waters, T.P.: A study of a nonlinear vibration isolator with a quasi-zero stiffness characteristic. J. Sound Vib. 315(3), 700–711 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Carrella, A., Brennan, M.J., Waters, T.P.: Static analysis of a passive vibration isolator with quasi-zero-stiffness characteristic. J. Sound Vib. 301(3–5), 678–689 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ramsey, J.R., Wierschem, N.E.: Passive control of the vibration of flooring systems using a gravity compensated non-linear energy sink. In: Proceedings of the 13th International Workshop on Advanced Smart Materials and Smart Structures Technology. The University of Tokyo, Japan (2017)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations