Seismic performance assessment of RC bridge piers with variable hysteresis performance dampers

Huihui Dong, Yanling Li, Kaiming Bi, Qiang Han, Xiuli Du

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


A novel variable hysteresis performance damper (VHD)—multi-stage slip friction damper is developed and applied to implement multi-level seismic resistance of structures. Different from the conventional slip friction dampers, which feature only a single type of slip friction surface, this innovative damper incorporates two types: a flat slip surface and a wedge slip surface. The quasi-static cyclic loading tests of the VHD were carried out to investigate its variable hysteresis performance. The test results revealed that the developed damper presented excellent adaptive performance, and its hysteresis behavior changed from a complete rectangle with efficient energy dissipation to a flag-shaped curve with exceptional self-centering capacity as deformation increases. Subsequently, the developed VHD with unique adaptive performance was applied in RC bridge piers (BP) to improve the seismic performance. Nonlinear time history and fragility analysis methods were employed to assess the seismic performance of the RC bridge piers with VHDs (BP-VHD) in deterministic and probabilistic manners, considering maximum and residual deformations as performance indicators. For comparison, seismic responses of RC bridge piers with traditional buckling restrained braces (BRBs) and self-centering energy dissipation braces (SCEBs) were also presented. The analysis and comparison results demonstrate that the developed VHD is as effective as BRB in reducing maximum deformation at small PGAs, meanwhile, it can effectively reduce the residual deformation of the structure to allowable values when the PGA is large. Furthermore, the failure probability of BP-VHDs is lower compared to piers with BRBs and SCEBs, particularly concerning maximum and residual drift ratios as performance indicators. The application of the VHD can effectively achieve the goal of multi-level seismic resistance for RC bridge piers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118085
JournalEngineering Structures
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2024


  • Multilevel seismic resistance
  • Quasi-static cyclic loading test
  • RC bridge piers
  • Seismic fragility analysis
  • Variable hysteresis performance damper (VHD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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