Earthquake Damping Techniques


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There are many earthquake damping techniques used in building high-rise structures in earthquake-prone areas. The two damping techniques studied in this experiment were cross-bracing and tuned mass dampers. In this expirement, two large "popsicle skyscrapers" were built to see the effects of dampers on skyscrapers when there is an earthquake.

Cross-bracing is not only a technique found in skyscrapers in earthquake-prone areas. This technique is found in many high-rise buildings all over the world, as it adds structural support to the building.

The following photos are of one of the two models that were built for this expirement. This is an example of a "cross-braced" building.


The other method of damping earthquakes is called "tuned mass damping" (1). A tuned mass damper is a large pendulum located at the top of the building which helps the building from swaying during an earthquake. Taipei 101 has a tuned mass damper in it, shown in the picture below. (1)


This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License. In short: you are free to share and make derivative works of the file under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it, and that you distribute it only under a license identical to this one. (1)

The damper used in the "popsicle skyscrapers" was a half of a tennis ball with a measured weight of sand appropriate to the weight of the building, as shown below.





(1) “Tuned mass damper” (2007). Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia, website accessed April 20, 2007: