An experimental study of MR dampers for seismic protection

S. J. Dyke, B. F. Spencer, M. K. Sain, J. D. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, the efficacy of magnetorheological (MR) dampers for seismic response reduction is examined. To investigate the performance of the MR damper, a series of experiments was conducted in which the MR damper is used in conjunction with a recently developed clipped-optimal control strategy to control a three-story test structure subjected to a one-dimensional ground excitation. The ability of the MR damper to reduce both peak responses, in a series of earthquake tests, and rms responses, in a series of broadband excitation tests, is shown. Additionally, because semi-active control systems are nonlinear, a variety of disturbance amplitudes are considered to investigate the performance of this control system over a variety of loading conditions. For each case, the results for three clipped-optimal control designs are presented and compared to the performance of two passive systems. The results indicate that the MR damper is quite effective for structural response reduction over a wide class of seismic excitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-703
Number of pages11
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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