Publication Details

Christie, M. D., Sun, S., Deng, L., Ning, D. H., Du, H., Zhang, S. W. & Li, W. H. (2019). A variable resonance magnetorheological-fluid-based pendulum tuned mass damper for seismic vibration suppression. Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, 116 530-544.


Seismic events leading to catastrophic outcomes around the world, particularly in built-up regions surrounding fault lines, often have high death tolls and cause costly damages to societies' existing infrastructure. To suppress damaging vibrations in multi-story buildings across a wide frequency spectrum, much research has been put into the study of variable-resonance tuned mass dampers, which maintain their usefulness across a range of frequencies, unlike passive alternatives. As a novel implementation of fast responsive magnetorheological materials to enable variable resonance, this paper presents a prototype magnetorheological-fluid-based pendulum tuned mass damper, integrating a differential gearbox to yield a damper-controlled transmission between the pendulum mass and a mechanical spring. The device is demonstrated to be highly effective, at its best reducing peak relative displacement by 12.8%, and peak acceleration by 22.0%, in contrast to comparable passive tuning modes in scale-building seismic experiments. This is owed to its controllable resonance which can be increased by 104% from its base value at 2.24 Hz. Further, other performance benefits are demonstrated in RMS structure displacement, and interstory drift ratio.

Grant Number


Available for download on Monday, July 13, 2020