Validation Of Model-based Real-time Hybrid Simulation For A Lightly-damped And Highly-nonlinear Structural System

Amirali Najafi, Billie F. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hybrid simulation (HS) is a cost-effective alternative to shake table testing for evaluating the seismic performance of structures. HS structures are partitioned into linked physical and numerical substructures, with actuators and sensors providing the means for the interaction. Load application in conventional HS is conducted at slow rates and is sufficient when material rateeffects are negligible. Real-time hybrid simulation (RTHS) is a variation of the HS method, where no time-scaling is applied. Despite the recent strides made in RTHS research, the body of literature validating the performance of RTHS, compared to shake table testing, remains limited. In the few available studies, the tested structures and assemblies are linear or modestly nonlinear, and artificial damping is added to the numerical substructure to ensure convergence and stable execution of the simulation. The objective of this study is the validation of a recently proposed model-based RTHS framework, focusing on lightly-damped and highly-nonlinear structural systems; such structures are particularly challenging to consider using RTHS. The boundary condition in the RTHS tests are enforced via displacement and acceleration tracking. The modified Model-Based Control (mMBC) compensator is employed for the tracking action. A two-story steel frame structure with a roof-level track nonlinear energy sink (NES) device is selected due to its light damping, high nonlinearity, and repeatability. The complete structure is first tested on a shaking table, and then substructured and tested via the RTHS method. The model-based RTHS approach is shown to perform similar to the shake table method, even for lightly-damped and highly-nonlinear structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1252-1265
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Applied and Computational Mechanics
StatePublished - 2021


  • Light damping
  • Model-based control
  • Nonlinear energy sink device.
  • RTHS validation
  • Shake table testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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