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The spring-damper isolators described in this paper were used on the world's largest cable stayed bridge - the Sutong Bridge over China's Yangtze River, completed in 2008. The Sutong Bridge is located north of Shanghai in China's Jiangsu Province at a site where catastrophic earthquakes, typhoons, and ship impact are key design issues. The total length of the bridge is 4.7 miles, with a .67 mile long center span. The tall support towers of this bridge and the long support cables create long period motions along the primary axis of the bridge. The need to accommodate thermal expansion and contraction of the deck axially means that extensive motion can occur in this direction. The configuration of the bridge permits large axial motion of the suspended deck during earthquakes, typhoons, and synchronized truck/car braking loads such as would occur during a mass vehicular accident on the bridge. During dynamic earthquake loading, the long period of the suspended deck provides inherent isolation, albeit essentially undamped. Analysis indicated that added viscous damping would reduce deck motions substantially. During other events like typhoons and vehicle loading, analysis determined that the most cost-effective solution was to incorporate a snubbing type spring element that would only engage (become active) when the damper was approaching its end of travel in either extension or compression. The spring-dampers on this bridge have only damping forces for roughly 85% of the available displacement from the neutral (center of travel) position. Beyond this travel the spring element engage and a combined response of spring plus damper forces results. Essentially, the spring elements are "gapped" through all but approximately the last 15% of the damper stroke in either direction.

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