PITA Fiscal Year 2015 Projects

Seismic Performance Enhancement of Civil Engineering Structures Using Liquid Silicon Rubber Dampers

Lead University: Lehigh University
PI: James Ricles, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
PA Industry: Corry Rubber Corporation
PA University Partner: Gannon University

Liquid Silicon Rubber (LSR) is a viable alternative to other materials used to construct dampers to provide supplemental damping to structural systems. LSR is less sensitive to temperature, frequency, and strain compared to butyl, a compound used to construct conventional elastomeric dampers. LSR processes like a thermoplastic, with a significantly reduced cure time and cost. Manufacturing methods lend themselves to on-site fabrication of dampers, which would greatly simplify the design and construction process and expand design capabilities. The proposed project will develop the use of LSR to construct dampers to reduce structural vibrations in building systems under earthquake loads. This is to be accomplished by conducting a second phase of LSR material characterization, followed by experimental validation studies of dampers constructed using LSR material.

The project builds upon results from prior studies on elastomeric dampers, where prior generations of dampers were constructed and mechanical properties of the dampers were obtained. These studies helped to establish real-time hybrid simulation methods for structural systems with passive dampers, which led to preliminary assessment of these dampers for structural vibration control under seismic loading. The LSR dampers are a newer version of a second-generation damper that was developed by Lehigh University, Penn State Behrend, Gannon University and Corry Rubber, Inc. (headquartered in Corry, PA) in a previous PITA sponsored study. The proposed study is a continued collaboration effort between these institutions and industry partner.