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Lock-Up Devices (LUDs) are a component from the same general technology base of fluid dampers, but unlike a fluid damper, the LUD does not dissipate energy. Rather, the LUD effectively acts as a dynamic brace to literally “lock” multiple masses together under seismic or wind transients. When equipped with LUDs, a multiple mass structure essentially acts like a single, monolithic mass when a transient event occurs.
Lock-Up Device designs are extremely simple, and available sizes range from 1 ton to 2,000 tons of force, and displacements up to plus or minus 60 inches.
Present applications include bridges of all types, base isolated structures in high seismic areas, and fixed base buildings subjected to wind storm or low-level seismic transients.
In the structural engineering field, these devices have become widely used to restrict the motion of bridges located in the Eastern and Central United States, notably in areas classified as Seismic Zones 1-3. Many of these bridges also have the requirement to withstand wind loads from hurricanes and/or tornadoes, plus loads from truck or train braking, where bridge motion must be limited over a sustained period of several hours.
Other applications are on buildings located close to one another and subjected to “pounding” problems, which can occur in any area of seismic or wind storm risk. Building applications to address these potential pounding problems include both fixed and base isolated structures. A third major area of application is the use of LUDs between discrete sections of a structure, thus allowing loads to be shared among individual masses during a transient event.
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