A variable resonance magnetorheological-fluid-based pendulum tuned mass damper for seismic vibration suppression

M. D. Christie, S. Sun, L. Deng, D. H. Ning, H. Du, S. W. Zhang, W. H. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Seismic events leading to catastrophic outcomes around the world, particularly in built-up regions surrounding fault lines, often have high death tolls and cause costly damages to societies’ existing infrastructure. To suppress damaging vibrations in multi-story buildings across a wide frequency spectrum, much research has been put into the study of variable-resonance tuned mass dampers, which maintain their usefulness across a range of frequencies, unlike passive alternatives. As a novel implementation of fast responsive magnetorheological materials to enable variable resonance, this paper presents a prototype magnetorheological-fluid-based pendulum tuned mass damper, integrating a differential gearbox to yield a damper-controlled transmission between the pendulum mass and a mechanical spring. The device is demonstrated to be highly effective, at its best reducing peak relative displacement by 12.8%, and peak acceleration by 22.0%, in contrast to comparable passive tuning modes in scale-building seismic experiments. This is owed to its controllable resonance which can be increased by 104% from its base value at 2.24 Hz. Further, other performance benefits are demonstrated in RMS structure displacement, and interstory drift ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-544
Number of pages15
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Building protection
  • Differential
  • Magnetorheological fluid
  • Tuned mass damper
  • Vibration absorber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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