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Numerical and Experimental Analyses of a Semi-Active Pendulum Tuned Mass Damper

Authors: H. Juma, F. Al-hujaili, R. Kashani


Modern structures such as floor systems, pedestrian bridges and high-rise buildings have become lighter in mass and more flexible with negligible damping and thus prone to vibration. In this paper, a semi-actively controlled pendulum tuned mass dampers (PTMD) is presented that uses air springs as both the restoring (resilient) and energy dissipating (damping) elements; the tuned mass damper (TMD) uses no passive dampers. The proposed PTMD can readily be fine-tuned and re-tuned, via software, without changing any hardware. Almost all existing semi-active systems have the three elements that passive TMDs have, i.e., inertia, resilient, and dissipative elements with some adjustability built into one or two of these elements. The proposed semi-active air suspended TMD, on the other hand, is made up of only inertia and resilience elements. A notable feature of this TMD is the absence of a physical damping element in its make-up. The required viscous damping is introduced into the TMD using a semi-active control scheme residing in a micro-controller which actuates a high-speed proportional valve regulating the flow of air in and out of the air springs. In addition to introducing damping into the TMD, the semi-active control scheme adjusts the stiffness of the TMD. The focus of this work has been the synthesis and analysis of the control algorithms and strategies to vary the tuning accuracy, introduce damping into air suspended PTMD, and enable the PTMD to self-tune itself. The accelerations of the main structure and PTMD as well as the pressure in the air springs are used as the feedback signals in control strategies. Numerical simulation and experimental evaluation of the proposed tuned damping system are presented in this paper.

Keywords: Tuned mass damper, air spring, semi-active, vibration control.

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