Semi-active smart-dampers and resetable actuators for multi-level seismic hazard mitigation of steel moment resisting frames
Thesis DisciplineMechanical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
This thesis explores the creation and assessment of semi-active control algorithms for both squat shear buildings and tall flexible structures. If cost-effective, practicable, semi-active structural control systems can be developed, the potential reduction in loss of both property and lives due to seismic events is significant. Semi-active controllers offer many of the benefits of active systems, but have power requirements orders of magnitude smaller, and do not introduce energy to the structural system. Previous research into semi-active controllers has shown their potential in linear simulations with single earthquake excitations. The distinguishing feature of this investigation is the use of appropriate non-linear modelling techniques and realistic suites of seismic excitations in the statistical assessment of the semi-active control systems developed. Finite element time-history analysis techniques are used in the performance assessment of the control algorithms developed for three and nine story structural models. The models include non-linear effects due to structural plasticity, yielding, hysteretic behaviour, and P-delta effects. Realistic suites of earthquake records, representing seismic excitations with specific return period probability, are utilised, with lognormal statistical analysis used to represent the response distribution. In addition to displacement focused control laws, acceleration and jerk regulation control methods are developed, showing that potential damage reduction benefits can be obtained from these new control approaches. A statistical assessment of control architecture is developed and undertaken, examining the distribution of constant maximum actuator authority for both squat shear buildings, and tall slender structures, highlighting the need to consider non-linear structural response characteristics when implementing semi-active control systems. Finally, statistical analysis of all results and normalised values shows the efficacy of each control law and actuator type relative to different magnitude seismic events. As a result, this research clearly presents, for the first time, explicit tradeoffs between control law, architecture type, non-linear structural effects, and seismic input characteristics for the semi-active control of civil structures.