Seismic protection of a building complex using variable friction damper: Experimental investigation

You Lin Xu, C. L. Ng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents an experimental investigation of seismic control of a building complex using variable friction damper. The laboratory-scale building complex was composed of a 12-story building and a three-story podium structure coupled in different configurations. The laboratory-scale variable friction damper was tailor made with a piezoelectric actuator. The performance test of the piezoelectric actuator was carried out to identify its characteristics. The performance test was then conducted on the piezo-driven variable friction damper under either constant or varying voltage to identify its motion-independent characteristics. Based on the characterization results, a close-loop operating scheme was proposed together with two classes of semiactive controllers: local-feedback controller and global-feedback controller, for real-time manipulation of the damper. The building complex was finally tested in uncoupled, rigid-coupled, passive damper-coupled, and semiactive damper-coupled configurations. The control performance of variable friction damper for the building complex was examined and compared with other cases. The test results showed that semiactive coupling control was promising for reducing seismic responses of both buildings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-649
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2008


  • Algorithms
  • Damping
  • Experimentation
  • Piezoelectricity
  • Seismic effects
  • Shake table tests
  • Structural control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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