Control devices can be used to dissipate the energy of a civil structure subjected to dynamic loading, such as an earthquake, thus reducing structural damage and preventing failure. The Magneto-Rheological (MR) fluid damper is a promising device for civil structures due to its mechanical simplicity, inherent stability, high dynamic range, large temperature operating range, robust performance, and low power requirements. The MR damper is intrinsically nonlinear and rate-dependent. As such a challenging aspect of applying this technology is the development of accurate models to describe their behavior for control design and evaluation purposes. In particular, a new type of experimental testing called real-time hybrid simulation (RTHS) requires a MR damper model that can exhibit stability and convergence at larger fixed integration time steps, provide computational efficiency and speed of calculation, and of course insure accuracy. Several models for MR dampers have been proposed, including the hyperbolic tangent, Bouc-Wen, and algebraic models. This paper examines the relative performance of these three MR damper models as used for RTHS in the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES).
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