Viscous Damping Devices for Tuned Mass Dampers

World leaders in the field of shock & vibration with over 60 years of industry experience. 

How Viscous Damping Devices are Used with TMDs

Tuned mass damper (TMD) systems have been incorporated into many structures and dynamic systems throughout the world to effectively increase the level of damping within the structure itself and thereby reduce undesirable oscillations. Typically installed near the top of the building, this system consists of a mass that weighs several hundred tons and is suspended by pendulum cables. However, viscous damping devices are also a critical component of the system. Due to its inertia and long period, the tuned mass moves out of phase with the building, while the viscous damping devices are responsible for dissipating the energy and keeping the mass from becoming in phase with the structural motion. The viscous dampers also reduce the peak TMD displacements under the most severe wind events and prevent the TMD mass from rotating (or yawing) as it swings from side to side.

Benefits of Fluid Viscous Damping Devices

While there are many types of dampers that can be used in TMD’s, many are not compatible with TMD’s for tall buildings because they are unable to meet all the stringent requirements necessary for use in these applications. Typical requirements for the dampers include the following:

  1. The damper(s) must obey the proper damping law (as a function of velocity, position, or both) over the appropriate environmental extremes in order to provide the proper level of added damping to the structure without shifting the ratio of natural frequency of the tuned mass to the natural frequency of the building itself.
  2. System friction must be mitigated in order to maintain a functional TMD regardless of the level of excitation to the structure.
  3. The damper(s) must be of a maintenance free design.
  4. The damper must be able to absorb a relatively high level of energy in a given amount of time (power) over the duration of the wind storm event.
  5. The damper(s) must be able to operate during extreme conditions, well beyond the normal input.

Fluid viscous dampers from Taylor Devices meet all of these requirements and are made with technology that dates back to classified military and aerospace projects over the last two decades. The main components of the damper include a main pressure cylinder or shock tube, a second outer cylinder mounted in a concentric fashion to the pressure cylinder, an accumulator, a metal bellows main rod seal, a piston rod, a roller bearing assembly and an external sleeve. The metal bellows form a completely hermetic and frictionless seal that is guaranteed for the life of the building. To learn more about how our viscous damping devices are used in TMDs, please contact our team today.

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