American Society of Civil Engineers

Seismic Energy Dissipation of Inelastic Structures with Tuned Mass Dampers

by K. K. F. Wong, M.ASCE, (Asst. Prof., Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Univ. of Utah, 122 S. Central Campus Dr., CME 117, Salt Lake City, UT 84112. E-mail:

Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 134, No. 2, February 2008, pp. 163-172, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: The energy transfer process of using a tuned mass damper (TMD) in improving the ability of inelastic structures to dissipate earthquake input energy is investigated. Inelastic structural behavior is modeled by using the force analogy method, which is the backbone of analytically characterizing the plastic energy dissipation in the structure. Numerical simulations are performed to study the energy responses of structures with and without TMD installed. The effectiveness of TMD in reducing energy responses is also studied by using plastic energy spectra for various structural yielding levels. Results show that the use of TMD enhances the ability of the structures to store larger amounts of energy inside the TMD that will be released at a later time in the form of damping energy when the response is not at a critical state, thereby increasing the damping energy dissipation while reducing the plastic energy dissipation. This reduction of plastic energy dissipation relates directly to the reduction of damage in the structure, and TMD is therefore concluded to be quite effective in protecting structures from suffering major damage during an earthquake. However, storing energy in the TMD is restricted if the structure becomes plastic at a small displacement level. In this case, the effectiveness of TMD diminishes, and the structural response becomes practically the same as those without TMD installed.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Structural dynamics
Energy dissipation
Response spectra
Seismic effects