Numerical and experimental study of the performance of a single-sided vibro-impact track nonlinear energy sink

Jingjing Wang, Nicholas Wierschem, Billie F. Spencer, Xilin Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Summary: This paper proposes a single-sided vibro-impact track nonlinear energy sink (SSVI track NES) as an effective way to mitigate the effects of impulsive and seismic excitation on building structures. The SSVI track NES is a passive energy dissipation device, which consists of a mass moving along a track, the shape of which provides a nonlinear restoring force to the mass. Previous studies have analyzed the track NES, which considers the track shape to be smooth and symmetric. By introducing a discontinuity into the shape of the track (e.g., through impact), energy in the primary structure can be scattered to higher frequency responses where it can be dissipated at a faster rate. First, the SSVI track NES is analytically investigated and numerically optimized base on a two degree-of-freedom primary structure. The results of numerical simulations show that the SSVI track NES can be more efficient than both the track NES and tuned mass damper in reducing the response of the primary structure. Based on the analytical studies, the SSVI track NES is experimentally realized and investigated when subjected to both impulse-like and seismic excitations, confirming the numerical predictions and validating the analytical model of the device. Finally, the robustness of the SSVI track NES is investigated numerically. The results of this investigation indicate that the SSVI track NES remains effective over a broad range of input excitation energy levels, as well as during significant changes in the stiffness of the primary structure. Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-652
Number of pages18
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 10 2016



  • Impulsive response
  • Nonlinear device
  • Seismic response
  • Shake table test
  • Structural control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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