For many years, the design of seismic resistant building structures has had the goal of preventing collapse, and avoiding injury and loss of life in the event of an earthquake. More recently, seismic design practice has sought to reduce structural damage and nonstructural damage from seismic events. A variety of seismic protective systems are now utilized to reduce structural response to seismic loading.
A viscoelastic damper is a seismic protective device that decreases structural response to seismic loading (Chang et al. 1993, Fan 1998). These dampers, however, have mechanical properties which are sensitive to frequency of loading and temperature, and limit their effectiveness (Fan 1998). An elastomeric damper uses a similar material, but is less sensitive to frequency of loading and temperature (Lee 2003).
However, elastomeric dampers generally provide less damping than viscoelastic dampers. This study focuses on a prototype elastomeric structural damper developed by Penn State Erie and the Corry Rubber Company, with input from researchers at Lehigh University. The damper uses a high damping elastomer pre-compressed into steel tubes, and is called the Ultra High Damped Elastomer Tube (UHDET) damper. Within this thesis, this damper is called "the prototype UHDET damper" or, more simply, "the prototype damper." The prototype damper incorporates both elastomeric and frictional damping to increase the total damping output, and takes advantage of the low sensitivity of elastomeric materials to frequency of loading and temperature.
This study characterizes the mechanical behavior of a prototype Ultra High Damped Elastomeric Tube (UHDET) damper developed by Penn State Erie and the Corry Rubber Company, with input from researchers at Lehigh University. The prototype damper has a unique construction that compresses the elastomeric material inside steel tubes. The pre-compression of the elastomer material allows the damper to provide both elastomeric and frictional damping.
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