113. SM Structural Feature on 181 Freemont

From a Space Program Hall of Fame induction to one of the tallest, mixed-use buildings in San Francisco, Taylor Devices continues to provide the most efficient, effective and innovative structural protection products on the planet.


This hermetically sealed damper was developed during the 1980’s for use space platforms. NASA and the U.S. military had experienced difficulties over the years with all types of oil filled products in space. Conventional sliding surfaces that were sealed acceptably on earth proved unacceptable for spacecraft use. Even the tiniest amount of fluid seepage past conventional seals turns into a dense fog in a vacuum, contaminating optics and electronic systems. Taylor Devices’ solution was to develop a damper that uses a flexural seal – thus sealing by non-sliding methods. The seal itself was a so called metal bellows made by laser welding thin discs of stainless steel into a bellows configuration. This paper describes the design and construction of the Taylor Devices Hermetically Sealed Damper.


The end of the Cold War in 1990 heralded a restructuring period for the American military and defense industry. In the civil engineering field, high capacity fluid dampers have transitioned from defense related structures to commercial applications on buildings and bridges subjected to seismic and/or wind storm inputs. Because fluid damping technology was proven thoroughly reliable and robust through decades of Cold War usage, implementation on commercial structures has taken place very quickly. This paper provides a broad overview as well as a guide to implementation; with specific case studies for four of the more than 300 major buildings and bridges equipped with fluid dampers by Taylor Devices, Inc., a defense contractor from the Cold War years.

54. Here’s How it Works

This article from Bridge Builder magazine shows how Taylor Devices dampers reduce seismic response of bridges.