Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Energy dampers for buildings


This is just one of many schemes that come from shake tables.  All tall buildings have viscous dampers for wind sway, otherwise secretaries would be barfing in their wastebaskets during wind storms.  You put in these things and shake table results show that induced shear strain (scales with PGV) will be cut down by half.

But they are going to plunk this thing down on a large soil basin in California.  50% is nothing when we expect natural variation of a factor of 100.  They'll be so happy with a couple of these expensive dampers that they'll cheap out on steel and foundation piles.  It's just not enough, you want more than a factor of 10 reduction in PGV which is what you would get with deep piles.  The same goes for base isolation, and a thousand other such schemes.  We shall see what we shall see.  :)

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