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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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4. Earthquake Protection Systems

Taylor Devices, Inc. has been the leader in shock and vibration technology since 1955. Now, we have boldly stepped into the forefront of one of civil engineering’s greatest challenges: Seismic protection of buildings, bridges, historical structures, and even residential dwellings. Extensive research has been conducted in a joint effort with the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (NCEER), located at the State University of New York at Buffalo. A practical approach has been developed for dissipating energy from a structure by the addition of Taylor Devices’ unique Fluid Viscous Dampers. The most noteworthy features include a maintenance-free design proven by years of usage by the Military, “fail-safe” construction which insures safe operation for the life of the building or bridge, and significantly lower cost than conventional methods.

Taylor Devices’ Fluid Viscous Dampers can be incorporated into a newly designed structure or retrofit to existing structures to extend their ability to survive seismic events. The linear output of these devices allows ease in structural analysis using existing software codes.

This data book includes answers to the questions most frequently asked about the use of viscous damping in a structure. Application and sizing information is also provided. For more information about a custom designed seismic protection system for your specific application, please do not hesitate to contact us at our factory. Our staff of highly qualified experts is ready to help you.

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